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Dr. Peikoff's prediction

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Actually, I think it has a lot to do with it. Miss Rand seems to have misunderstood American Christianity in much the same way Dr. Peikoff does, and it clouded her judgments of Ronald Reagan in much the same way Dr. Peikoff's judgments are clouded. Check out the thread I linked to; you'll see several quotes from her on Reagan which are just as much off the mark as Dr. Peikoff's more recent statements on the influence of Christianity. I think she was being unobjective there(underlining mine: B.K.)--but it wouldn't cross my mind to accuse her of a "complete abandonment of objectivity" or to liken her to the environmental scaremongers!

I would like to clarify the phrase "being unobjective" In particular I would say "being unobjective" is not the same thing as being mistaken. Both objective and unobjective people make mistakes. What is unobjective with regard to error is the refusal to understand that one is mistaken in the face of good evidence that one is mistaken and a further refusal to make a correction. Our willingness to correct our errors, given evidence that we have made errors is a significant benchmark of our mentality.

Bob Kolker

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Objectivism isn't an "organization."

( aynrand.org )

"The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), a 501©(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Irvine, California, works to introduce young people to Ayn Rand’s novels, to support scholarship and research based on her ideas, and to promote the principles of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism to the widest possible audience. The Institute is named for novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982), who is best known for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ARI has a distinguished Board of Directors and a staff of about 35 employees."

Umm . . . The Ayn Rand Institute is, indeed, an organization. The Ayn Rand Institute, however, is NOT Objectivism.

Hmmm. Seems like you need to restate all of your previous statements in light of your recognition of your error. You need to distinguish the concept of 'group' from 'collective', for it is the latter that you mean when you say ARI "needs to make use of an external enemy (real, or "tinfoil hat conspiracy" imaginary) to insure the continued cohesiveness of the group." ARI is a group of individuals who agree on its advocacy of rational ideas and support for Objectivism. "Cohesiveness" is apparent because of the pursuit of common values that promote life in a rational manner. There are many disagreements among individuals. A common enemy will not attract rational people to support an organization such as ARI. If that were so, then all anticommunists would support ARI and all Aristotelians would support ARI, which is obviously not the case. Your logic is flawed.

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Objectivism isn't an "organization."

( aynrand.org )

"The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), a 501©(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Irvine, California, works to introduce young people to Ayn Rand’s novels, to support scholarship and research based on her ideas, and to promote the principles of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism to the widest possible audience. The Institute is named for novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982), who is best known for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ARI has a distinguished Board of Directors and a staff of about 35 employees."

Umm . . . The Ayn Rand Institute is, indeed, an organization. The Ayn Rand Institute, however, is NOT Objectivism.

Hmmm. Seems like you need to restate all of your previous statements in light of your recognition of your error. You need to distinguish the concept of 'group' from 'collective', for it is the latter that you mean when you say ARI "needs to make use of an external enemy (real, or "tinfoil hat conspiracy" imaginary) to insure the continued cohesiveness of the group." ARI is a group of individuals who agree on its advocacy of rational ideas and support for Objectivism. "Cohesiveness" is apparent because of the pursuit of common values that promote life in a rational manner. There are many disagreements among individuals. A common enemy will not attract rational people to support an organization such as ARI. If that were so, then all anticommunists would support ARI and all Aristotelians would support ARI, which is obviously not the case. Your logic is flawed.

Sorry. The "you" above should be Greggo, not Vespasiano.

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I'm not trying to talk about anything other than the methodology behind their predictions, and that methodology is identical in essentials.
Yes, that's what you've been saying, but I still don't see why you think the things you list are the essentials. We're spinning in circles...

But suppose a hypothetical person agrees with you about the essential similarity and wants to know this: Rather than simply point out the flaws in Dr. Peikoff's methodology, why do you consider it important to draw a comparison with environmentalists? Besides the environmentalists, are there any other ideological groups that share the essentials of this methodology? Other than simply rejecting the prediction, do you think any other action is called for, in terms of moral evaluation, rejecting any other ideas of Dr. Peikoff's, etc.?

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I would like to clarify the phrase "being unobjective" In particular I would say "being unobjective" is not the same thing as being mistaken. Both objective and unobjective people make mistakes. What is unobjective with regard to error is the refusal to understand that one is mistaken in the face of good evidence that one is mistaken and a further refusal to make a correction. Our willingness to correct our errors, given evidence that we have made errors is a significant benchmark of our mentality.

Lack of objectivity is not the same as making an error, but neither does objectivity consist only of a refusal to make a correction in the light of evidence provided by others. Objectivity requires independent thought focused on reality regardless of the source of evidence. One can be objective or not in his methods before anyone else says anything about it. Objectivity, like honesty, begins with one's self in his characteristic approach to thinking.

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Add to this the fact that the Obama administration is taking over industry piecemeal with little to no meaningful resistance or public outcry, and Obama is biding his time in implementing sever Environmental controls and seeing if Congress will do it first. Personally, I can't see how anybody could not see how we're already in the beginning stages of an Eco-Christian Totalitarian regime.

[Emphasis added.]

That is not correct. There were the Tea Parties, in which 1.2 million Americans came out against the Leftist onslaught. However, the mainstream. i.e., Leftist, media - propagandist arm of the Geocrats - did not report it truthfully. To many Americans and virtually all non-Americans, nothing happened on April 15, 2009.

The tea parties have, so far, been meaningless. They have produced no practical change in political trends. Though they may have a long term effect of changing political trends through educating people, they are doing nothing to stop the current trend. While I do think that we'll end up with some totalitarian regime (which, don't we have a watered down version at this moment!?), I still think that the long term trend is positive.

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Add to this the fact that the Obama administration is taking over industry piecemeal with little to no meaningful resistance or public outcry, and Obama is biding his time in implementing sever Environmental controls and seeing if Congress will do it first. Personally, I can't see how anybody could not see how we're already in the beginning stages of an Eco-Christian Totalitarian regime.

[Emphasis added.]

That is not correct. There were the Tea Parties, in which 1.2 million Americans came out against the Leftist onslaught. However, the mainstream. i.e., Leftist, media - propagandist arm of the Geocrats - did not report it truthfully. To many Americans and virtually all non-Americans, nothing happened on April 15, 2009.

The tea parties have, so far, been meaningless. They have produced no practical change in political trends. Though they may have a long term effect of changing political trends through educating people, they are doing nothing to stop the current trend. While I do think that we'll end up with some totalitarian regime (which, don't we have a watered down version at this moment!?), I still think that the long term trend is positive.

The reason the tea parties do not appear to have "produced" any "practical change" is that the United States is not a banana republic. Citizens have to wait for a certain period of time before they can exercise power, i.e., vote. Furthermore, the Left, holding almost complete power at every level of government, is actively ignoring the public outcry.

We'll have to wait and see what happens at the next elections.

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The tea parties have, so far, been meaningless.

I highly recommend that you attend one... you might be suprised how much it could change your attitude. It's the responsibility of those who participate to supply the meaning for themselves. I was curious who would respond the most favorably to our presence and who would not. For example: among the most enthusiastic responders were the truckers and service vans... the people who share responsiblity for the physical operation of our country. They are the real front line ground troops in the war for America... which makes them among our most valuable allies... and the most appreciative of our presence. There was a suprizing synergy of the emotional bond formed between their loud honking horns and our cheering and flagwaving.

This is how real change begins... in very small seemingly insignificant but humanly personal ways.

It begins with you.

They have produced no practical change in political trends. Though they may have a long term effect of changing political trends through educating people, they are doing nothing to stop the current trend.

I agree... but only for right now.

With the very first TEA Parties only last April it's still way too early to tell what they might become.

While I do think that we'll end up with some totalitarian regime (which, don't we have a watered down version at this moment!?), I still think that the long term trend is positive.

The socialist ship of state is large and changes direction slowly... but you can already make out the name on the rusty hull... TITANIC. And that's how I think change will come... the natural process of self destruction by those who produce nothing will create a vacuum which will be opportunistically filled by productive Capitalists. This process is already occurring. If you examing your immediate sorrundings closely, you can already see small "competency vacuums" forming and can position yourself to seamlessly fill them in as they grow.

Politically, there is plenty of time till the next elections for this small but accumulating snowball to roll down the hill. Perhaps by then it will become an unstoppable steamrolling juggernaut.

(if you can't tell... I'm an optimist banana.gif)

Greg

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Objectivism isn't an "organization."

( aynrand.org )

"The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), a 501©(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Irvine, California, works to introduce young people to Ayn Rand’s novels, to support scholarship and research based on her ideas, and to promote the principles of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism to the widest possible audience. The Institute is named for novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982), who is best known for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ARI has a distinguished Board of Directors and a staff of about 35 employees."

Umm . . . The Ayn Rand Institute is, indeed, an organization. The Ayn Rand Institute, however, is NOT Objectivism.

Hmmm. Seems like you need to restate all of your previous statements in light of your recognition of your error. You need to distinguish the concept of 'group' from 'collective', for it is the latter that you mean when you say ARI "needs to make use of an external enemy (real, or "tinfoil hat conspiracy" imaginary) to insure the continued cohesiveness of the group."

I was of course referring to Dr. Peikoff's reference, as a recognized Objectivist spokesperson, to some future theocracy as an imaginary potential enemy... while the real threat of a secular European style leftist socialist state manifests right in front of us.

ARI is a group of individuals who agree on its advocacy of rational ideas and support for Objectivism. "Cohesiveness" is apparent because of the pursuit of common values that promote life in a rational manner. There are many disagreements among individuals.

...to which an invoked response is that they are not "real Objectivists". This is one defining group behavior... the judgement of who is a "heretic".

A common enemy will not attract rational people to support an organization such as ARI.

...but invoking one can minimise infighting and internal factions.

If that were so, then all anticommunists would support ARI and all Aristotelians would support ARI, which is obviously not the case. Your logic is flawed.

All groups operate within the same laws of human behavior.

Don't get me wrong... I'm sure ARI is doing good. It's just wise to dispassionately recognize the reality of how all groups operate so as to defuse the dissapointment of unreasonable exectations.

Greg

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Hmmm. Seems like you need to restate all of your previous statements in light of your recognition of your error. You need to distinguish the concept of 'group' from 'collective', for it is the latter that you mean when you say ARI "needs to make use of an external enemy (real, or "tinfoil hat conspiracy" imaginary) to insure the continued cohesiveness of the group."

I was of course referring to Dr. Peikoff's reference, as a recognized Objectivist spokesperson, to some future theocracy as an imaginary potential enemy... while the real threat of a secular European style leftist socialist state manifests right in front of us.

But Dr. Peikoff is not a leader of a group of Objectivists. And he is not advocating his ideas for the purpose you suggest. To my knowledge, he has not denied the threat of fascists. Only that they do not have the integrated ideology that the religionists do.

ARI is a group of individuals who agree on its advocacy of rational ideas and support for Objectivism. "Cohesiveness" is apparent because of the pursuit of common values that promote life in a rational manner. There are many disagreements among individuals.

...to which an invoked response is that they are not "real Objectivists". This is one defining group behavior... the judgement of who is a "heretic".

Invoked by whom? Are you denying that judgment is a property of the individual, and that some individuals can agree on the facts of reality?

A common enemy will not attract rational people to support an organization such as ARI.

...but invoking one can minimise infighting and internal factions.

I have no idea what you are talking about. How about some facts, please?

If that were so, then all anticommunists would support ARI and all Aristotelians would support ARI, which is obviously not the case. Your logic is flawed.

All groups operate within the same laws of human behavior.

Don't get me wrong... I'm sure ARI is doing good. It's just wise to dispassionately recognize the reality of how all groups operate so as to defuse the dissapointment of unreasonable exectations.

Greg

What laws of human behavior are you talking about? Are people who are devoted to reason and rationality operating according to the same "laws" as those who are devoted to power-lust and control of others? Are you equating George Washington and the USA with Adolph Hitler and Wiemar Germany?

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Add to this the fact that the Obama administration is taking over industry piecemeal with little to no meaningful resistance or public outcry, and Obama is biding his time in implementing sever Environmental controls and seeing if Congress will do it first. Personally, I can't see how anybody could not see how we're already in the beginning stages of an Eco-Christian Totalitarian regime.

[Emphasis added.]

That is not correct. There were the Tea Parties, in which 1.2 million Americans came out against the Leftist onslaught. However, the mainstream. i.e., Leftist, media - propagandist arm of the Geocrats - did not report it truthfully. To many Americans and virtually all non-Americans, nothing happened on April 15, 2009.

Not to sound like a smart *ss, but 1.2 million people is what--0.3% of the US population? And what did they do? They stood around holding signs with slick slogans and talking to eachother. Meanwhile, in state capitals and in Washington, it's business as usual. No wonder the news media marginalized the Tea Parties--hardly anyone bothered to show up!

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Not to sound like a smart *ss, but 1.2 million people is what--0.3% of the US population?

That's about the same proportion of the population that participated in the original Boston Tea Party.

And what did they do? They stood around holding signs with slick slogans and talking to eachother. Meanwhile, in state capitals and in Washington, it's business as usual.

Meanwhile, in Parliament, the government refused to take them seriously. Ditto for the British press.

No wonder the news media marginalized the Tea Parties--hardly anyone bothered to show up!

No only that, but 2/3 of the American population was unsympathic to the rebels.

Fortunately, true ideas and reality were on the side of the rebels -- and they won. See Betsy's Law #1.

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Not to sound like a smart *ss, but 1.2 million people is what--0.3% of the US population?

I'd say that is quite an effective result for just one day... the very first day of a spontaneous grassroots movement.

And what did they do? They stood around holding signs with slick slogans and talking to eachother.

We did far more than that... Each group we connected with thousands of others who saw them there.

Meanwhile, in state capitals and in Washington, it's business as usual.

Of course...

Socialist government only exists as a just and deserved consequence of the collective demand to be served at the expense of others.

No wonder the news media marginalized the Tea Parties--hardly anyone bothered to show up!

What you didn't account for is the fact of the tens of millions more who didn't participate but yet share the same view. Even though there were only about 60 people in the Simi group... thousands of passersby responded at that very heavily traveled intersection. This is an extremely effective ratio.

April 15th was also in the middle of a work week,while the 4th falls on a Saturday... which will be a whole different ballgame. Just within 40 miles of where I live, there are already 9 TEA Parties planned.

Greg

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I don't think Dr. Peikoff's prediction is unfounded. A theocracy is highly possible in this country. Here are my reasons:

1. The two parties have all but merged into one. There is no profound difference between them, just as there was no profound difference between Obama and McCain. They are socialists with some vestige of need of the free market, just as George Bush was. The only reason for keeping the names of the two parties is so that we can have some different colors to put on political maps on the news channels. The Democrats don't realize that this is a republic, but neither do Republicans in office. The difference is one of degrees at best, and we don't need different party labels to describe subhumans who both believe in the same principles. The principles can all be traced to altruism and/or religion.

2. Once you have one party, the men that can unify a set of views into a coherent theme will win the day. Ayn Rand once said (paraphrasing) that it is the ones with the most consistent views that win out. Religion is all encompassing. Even if socialists come to complete power and totally ruin our economy, they won't get men to lay down and die unless you first give them the code with which to do it. Religion provides that perfect code: Yes, you have failed in this world, but this world is meaningless. Marxists never got or even tried to get people to believe that this world is meaningless, so therefore, when their economics was shown to be futile, Marxism suffered. But not so with religion. Man lying prostrate on the ground, beaten in every way, with no earthly means to feed himself does not deter religion. It is actually part of religion's message: Forget about this world. People did from about 300 AD to 1300 AD, give or take. It could very well be that is is only religious socialists have the complete recipe to enslave a nation. If they combine environmentalism with their worldview, they will only be that much MORE powerful. We can already see plenty of examples of religion adopting environmentalism into its philosophy.

3. A person can be anything he wants and run for office in this country, except atheist. An announced atheist has no chance. Obama invokes religious nonsense more than even Bush. Libertarians are no better. There is absolutely NO party, and nearly NO candidates who, in my lifetime, have ever announced that reason and reason alone is the basis for what they believe in, if any of them even believe in anything. In fact, the only candidates that one can say have any integration between what they say, do, and believe a government should do, are the religious ones. That is what scares me, because I know what Ayn Rand said is true: It is the most philosophically consistent that wins in the long run.

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I don't think Dr. Peikoff's prediction is unfounded. A theocracy is highly possible in this country. Here are my reasons:

How does your method relate to the DIM Hypothesis that Dr. Peikoff uses to arrive at his conclusions?

1. The two parties have all but merged into one. There is no profound difference between them, just as there was no profound difference between Obama and McCain. They are socialists with some vestige of need of the free market, just as George Bush was. The only reason for keeping the names of the two parties is so that we can have some different colors to put on political maps on the news channels. The Democrats don't realize that this is a republic, but neither do Republicans in office. The difference is one of degrees at best, and we don't need different party labels to describe subhumans who both believe in the same principles. The principles can all be traced to altruism and/or religion.

A very similar situation existed when Roosevelt was president and when Kennedy/Johnson were President. The Republican party was ineffective and a small minority that "me-too'd" the Democrats.

2. Once you have one party, the men that can unify a set of views into a coherent theme will win the day.

The Democrats are a party of factions (many, many factions) each with their own set of priorities that are not in agreement. They are held together by altruism and by the fact that there is no explicit, coherent theme to the Party. (Do you really think the Hispanics believe they are better off when the blacks make gains in housing? Or that the environmentalist care much for the UAW union?) Any attempt to impose a unifying theme would cause the factions to start in-fighting and result in a very small minority dominating the party.

Ayn Rand once said (paraphrasing) that it is the ones with the most consistent views that win out. Religion is all encompassing. Even if socialists come to complete power and totally ruin our economy, they won't get men to lay down and die unless you first give them the code with which to do it. Religion provides that perfect code: Yes, you have failed in this world, but this world is meaningless. Marxists never got or even tried to get people to believe that this world is meaningless, so therefore, when their economics was shown to be futile, Marxism suffered. But not so with religion. Man lying prostrate on the ground, beaten in every way, with no earthly means to feed himself does not deter religion. It is actually part of religion's message: Forget about this world. People did from about 300 AD to 1300 AD, give or take. It could very well be that is is only religious socialists have the complete recipe to enslave a nation. If they combine environmentalism with their worldview, they will only be that much MORE powerful. We can already see plenty of examples of religion adopting environmentalism into its philosophy.

Yes, but what about countervailing trends? It used to be illegal to buy alcohol on Sunday, abortion was illegal, African-Americans were suppressed - often violently, women were stuck in the home raising kids, homosexuals were openly and privately persecuted, prayer was legal and practiced openly in government schools, and many other issues. All justified on religious grounds and now pretty much repudiated in today's America.

The fact that general principles are operating within society does not mean that at any given time the full consequences of those ideas will be implemented within the near future. (Kant's ideas were published over 200 years ago. It took 157 years to reach fruition in Germany. Who's to say how long in America?) One can predict the general trend will be in a particular direction, but to concretely state that certain events will occur within a specific time period are based upon what? Men have free will. Just look at Atlas Shrugged. In present time, the book took place over 4 years. It was pretty near collapse where a strike would have a major effect. How long would the society have lasted had there been no strike or if the story was set 50 years in the past?

3. A person can be anything he wants and run for office in this country, except atheist. An announced atheist has no chance.

How is this different now from any other time in American history?

Obama invokes religious nonsense more than even Bush. Libertarians are no better. There is absolutely NO party, and nearly NO candidates who, in my lifetime, have ever announced that reason and reason alone is the basis for what they believe in, if any of them even believe in anything.

It's earlier than you think.

In fact, the only candidates that one can say have any integration between what they say, do, and believe a government should do, are the religious ones. That is what scares me, because I know what Ayn Rand said is true: It is the most philosophically consistent that wins in the long run.

Yes, that is scary, but if one looks to the future, Objectivism is the most consistent philosophy because its ideas correspond to the facts of reality.

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Just look at Atlas Shrugged. In present time, the book took place over 4 years. It was pretty near collapse where a strike would have a major effect. How long would the society have lasted had there been no strike or if the story was set 50 years in the past?

------------

"Dagny, you're more fortunate than I. Taggart Transcontinental is a delicate piece of precision machinery. It will not last long without you. It cannot be run by slave labor. They will mercifully destroy it for you and you won't have to see it serving the looters. But copper-mining is a simpler job. D'Anconia Copper could have lasted for generations of looters and slaves. Crudely, miserably, ineptly—but it could have lasted and helped them to last. I had to destroy it myself."
(my emphasis)

I think this is a realistic time frame. And copper mining could not continue to exist in a theocracy, as there is no industry in any theocracy on earth unless it is outsiders who support and maintain the industry. If industry could have lasted for generations at the cultural stage projected in Atlas Shrugged, how long will it last in today's society?

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I tend to doubt his prediction. Why? Because there is no one church big enough and strong enough to become an effective Magisterium.

How about the Church of Evironmentalism? Since it is totally unrestrained by the First Amendment, its doctrines have been forced on everyone -- including unbelievers.

I ran across this speech by Michael Chrichton this week on environmentalism as a religion. Very well written in my opinion.

http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-en...maseligion.html

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