Carl_Svanberg

Peikoff on the coming election

354 posts in this topic

(Stephen Speicher @ Oct 22 2006, 01:56 AM) *

The 8 years since Peikoff made this statement about religion disappearing, are just a little blip in the long-range perspective, which is primarily a matter of the influence of proper ideas. A little blip does not a theocracy make, certainly not in a country with the tradition and sense of life of Americans.

I think the implication that not going to the polls is immoral is false. As an Australian I was forced to participate in my last State election about a month or so ago, if I did not, I'd get a ($250?) or so fine and I think we get questioned too.

Given the population of the United States or Australia, and the effect your vote probably WON'T HAVE, what I'm doing in my life, on that day, is far more important and I consider it an act of Philosophy to avoid voting -- but of course -- I have no choice -- Americans still have that freedom (I advocate you exercise it if you're busy that day).

I encourage independent thought, don't become a Collectivist Objectivist, we're not all going out in droves and voting one party (fact is: there are good Republicans relative, that is, in contrast to the Democratic alternative).

These groups, both Republican and Democrat, have so many facets that the body of knowledge is so great, that is, there are so many factors, that voting either way seems to be okay within the right context. No-one can do enough research to discover which party 'is' right, in order to discover what 'is' actual in regards to the right choice, especially a sweeping statement to vote one party, requires more than a lifetime of Voluminous research and analysis, furthermore in doing that no-one, not even Peikoff has sat in Congress everyday, you don't know how people act, their personal beliefs unseen by the public, hardly any primary sources other than when the President shook your hand.

Now I know I haven't provided other reasons to suggest exactly why the implication that "not voting is immoral" is false. I could give reasons others already have, yet, I'll add a new one, the fact the two parties are, in their approach as 'moderates' who move towards left-right-centrism before an election (as others put it, by the way:I don't find 'moderates' 'moderate'); you can only make one conclusion, both parties are virtually the same thing.

But if you're independent and flip between parties in terms of voting as an Objectivist, I have more to say.

Here is todays context..

Contrary to public opinion and some other Objectivists who are permanent pessimists who paint armageddon about the sorry state of the world, I do not agree with the notion that the US Government passes many bills through Congress, they are extremely slow, if for instance, you were a non-Objectivist, and wanted action on a heap of laws, or were a group that wanted something passed on the national level, or Social Security cleaned up, immigration reform, Medicaid, etc, your opinion would be that 'they're not doing anything' and to be fair this opinion is very close to the reality on the ground -- regardless of the fact Republicans are in control.

I think an Objectivist is right to vote Republican, in this election and others, ESPECIALLY for the following reason.

***

Democratic Leader

so you vote for a Republican House (less damage done)

***

Republican Leader

so you vote for a Democratic House (less damage done)

***

This is how I vote, but with different parties, in Australia, I figure the high frequency of swings between power lead to either side gettin busy trying to undo what the others did. Also there is generally less done and it forces widespread debate when new bills are on the table. It forces leaders to be more rational in contrast to a partisan partyline power trip. If the Republicans in the US are unfettered, they will turn the United States quickly into a Police State, short and long term, this ought to be your #1-#2 reason to vote Democrat IMHO if your an independent voter.

Right now I do not care about theocracy, that's a long term thing way off the map, America is far away from that, I'd also like to submit that even though a large percentage of the US is Christian, say 80% or whatever the figure, that most of them are unofficial Agnostics or have a low self esteem and have an inkling that God has to exist, maybe life is hard, maybe its jail, maybe its the streets.

Peikoff ought to be mentioning the recent pillages of civil liberty without a formal declaration of war, pillages done without its advocates saying 'well this is what happens when you don't declare war' -- demonstrating a lack of Political conviction (and increased leniency when it comes to rights) and a lapse in Philosophical understanding of what's behind the laws of the land (be it 1% flawed or 50% flawed, the Philosophy behind the laws protecting things such as privacy is why we protect even the flawed laws).

All these reasons are valid.

An error in knowledge is not a breach of Morality.

What can an error in knowledge be?

-- Some judge that Religion has undergone some kind of revolutionary come-back recently.

-- Some judge that Religion is dwindling.

Which view is right? Which view is wrong, that is: which view is inconsistent with Reality, to be rejected, and to influence your vote.

Now for my opinion, and where I'd vote, and not just why it's 'okay' to vote that Republican party line on this or other occasions.

In terms of voting National Security, if I was American this year, I'd vote Republican for their quasi-action against Radical Islam (indirectly and directly) rather than the Democratic alternative which seems far worse (pretty much zero action). Furthermore in my judgement religion is dwindling and Republicans think Democracy is the greatest thing on Earth. I also like fiscal discipline, and how the DOW & S&P500 futures are acting lately, the way Gold has had a short pullback and is currently consolidating sideways.

Despite the fact if I were American I'd normally vote, say, if there's a Republican President, I'd vote Democratic Senate or House, and force some debate on everyone, so less damage gets done.

However seeing its a time of war, and America is what it is, I'd vote Republican.

Also I'd just like to add an Ayn Rand quote to put light on how you should vote

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...i_arab_conflict

I've emboldened the important part.

Q: What should the United Sates do about the [1973] Arab-Israeli War?

AR: Give all the help possible to Israel. Consider what is at stake. It is not the moral duty of any country to send men to die helping another country. The help Israel needs is technology and military weapons—and they need them desperately. Why should we help Israel? Israel is fighting not just the Arabs but Soviet Russia, who is sending the Arabs armaments. Russia is after control of the Mediterranean and oil.

Further, why are the Arabs against Israel? (This is the main reason I support Israel.) The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are. Israel is a mixed economy inclined toward socialism. But when it comes to the power of the mind—the development of industry in that wasted desert continent—versus savages who don't want to use their minds, then if one cares about the future of civilization, don't wait for the government to do something. Give whatever you can. This is the first time I've contributed to a public cause: helping Israel in an emergency.

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I think the implication that not going to the polls is immoral is false. As an Australian I was forced to participate in my last State election about a month or so ago, if I did not, I'd get a ($250?) or so fine and I think we get questioned too.

Given the population of the United States or Australia, and the effect your vote probably WON'T HAVE, what I'm doing in my life, on that day, is far more important and I consider it an act of Philosophy to avoid voting -- but of course -- I have no choice -- Americans still have that freedom (I advocate you exercise it if you're busy that day).

To clarify the above; you do not have to vote in Australia. The only requirement is that you have an excuse if you do not to turn up at the voting booth. It is perfectly legal to show up, have your name crossed off the list, and walk out without marking a ballot.

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You may as well vote if they force you to go there is my preference, I'll add, and I didn't purposely leave that out -- a blank vote is somewhat a vote.

Thanks for pointing this out.

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A threat is, by definition, a potential danger. And I think it is anyone's guess which is more likely in the coming decades: that an American woman will be denied an abortion by Christians, or that she will be killed by Muslims. More immediately, a current ballot measure in my state would require teenage girls to have parental permission to obtain an abortion. As Oregon becomes more and more "red," I expect measures like this to pass in the near future, if not this election. It doesn't take a perfect theocracy to ruin your life, a little religion applied at just the right spot in the system will do.

It may be anyone's guess which is more likely, but the contrast is between: A woman denied an abortion, in which case she can have one via a staunch secular underground, and a woman murdered for perceived permissiveness in the name of "honor killing." As to the current ballot measure in Oregon, it is not that cut and dry. Parents are legally and financially responsible for their minor daughter's health and well-being. They have a right to know about a serious procedure such as an abortion. What happens if there are complications - who is to be informed if not the parents? If a girl under 18 want to be free from her parents, she can sue for emanicpation - a legal measure where a minor is emancipated from his legal quardians and assumes the status of an adult. (I am, by the way, 100% pro-choice.)

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It may be anyone's guess which is more likely, but the contrast is between: A woman denied an abortion, in which case she can have one via a staunch secular underground, and a woman murdered for perceived permissiveness in the name of "honor killing."

Hi Michelle, I understand you to be saying that it'd be worse to be a pregnant teen in a backwards Islamic society than in a pre-Roe-vs-Wade society. I don't understand why this is relevant to the election, or to the point I was making, that it is not known that terrorists are more likely than Christians to bring ruin to some of the individuals around us.

As to the current ballot measure in Oregon, it is not that cut and dry.

I agree in the sense that it is a somewhat complicated measure: it allows the parents to sue a doctor for performing an abortion on a girl over 15 should he not inform them via certified mail at least 48 hours prior, unless the girl has privately requested a board for an exception, and the board has assigned a judge within 3 days ... etc etc. It fills two pages in the voter's pamphlet. Some states already require notification of some sort, and some states require explicit parental approval.

However, the fundamental in all this complexity and in all of these cases is the notion that parents have some right to challenge their daughter's wish to free herself of an enormous burden. This notion is monstrous. I think it is cut and dry that in all the possible ways to legally handle this issue, by far the worst violation of rights would follow when a girl is compelled to continue her pregnancy, give birth, and become a parent against her wishes unencumbered by the "guidance" of guardians whose agenda may be religious or abusive.

I brought this up originally as an example of the kind of political poison that the right will be bringing into Oregon in the coming years, thanks to population projections which translate to an expanding base of support here. On every ballot I can remember in Oregon there has been something attacking gays, abortion rights, etc. Unfortunately such measures may get the votes they need in a few years. This is supporting evidence for why I don't think it is wise to minimize the threat of Christian politics.

Regards,

Brad Williams

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As to the current ballot measure in Oregon, it is not that cut and dry.

In fact it is very confusing at first. I wrestled with it and ended voting for it, thus cancelling Brad's vote. I did so with the greatest reluctance.

Parents are legally and financially responsible for their minor daughter's health and well-being.

So, if a father beats and rapes his daughter and she becomes pregnant and goes to an abortionist, the abortionist should notify the father?

That scenario is frightening and it made me hesitate for a long time to support the ballot measure. There is a counter-argument however: If the 15-17 year old girl has been raped or beaten then the abortionist's office should work with her to call the police. Giving her an abortion and then sending her back to an abusive home would be unconscionable.

If I understood it correctly the proposed measure does not allow exceptions for rape or incest, but does allow a by-pass judicial procedure: a judge can review the case quickly, even over the phone. That would be fine -- unless all the judges are ultraconservatives.

Another argument in favor of this law is -- apparently -- that almost all other states have similar laws, and yet leftists can provide no evidence from the experience of those states showing that more injuries resulted from back-alley abortions.

If a girl under 18 want to be free from her parents, she can sue for emanicpation - a legal measure where a minor is emancipated from his legal quardians and assumes the status of an adult.

How long does emancipation take? Would the parents need to be notified?

(I am, by the way, 100% pro-choice.)

So am I -- for adults. The problem is the borderline cases: not "children" in the usual sense, but not adults either.

What I have tried to do in this post is to show that making a decision on this particular measure is not initially a straight-forward decision. I found it confusing at first, but decided to go with the usual case, responsible adults and teenagers who need advice -- not the exceptions, which should be handle judicially and by the police. If the courts and police can't be trusted, then the least of our problems is teenage pregnancy.

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[i am 100% pro-choice] -- for adults. The problem is the borderline cases: not "children" in the usual sense, but not adults either.

Oregon's ballot initiative is obviously an invalid way to write laws (it is too detailed a question of law to be put up for a vote), but I would favor it for the same reasons Burgess does.

...[T]he fundamental in all this complexity and in all of these cases is the notion that parents have some right to challenge their daughter's wish to free herself of an enormous burden. This notion is monstrous. I think it is cut and dry that in all the possible ways to legally handle this issue, by far the worst violation of rights would follow when a girl is compelled to continue her pregnancy, give birth, and become a parent against her wishes unencumbered by the "guidance" of guardians whose agenda may be religious or abusive.

It would be monstrous for parents to force their under age daughter to go through pregnancy and childbirth, but if childbirth does not constitute a threat to the girl's survival or to her future fertility, I can see no way for the state to intervene. The parents would be moral monsters, not a criminal ones.

In the case of a birth from an underage girl, I would presume the girl's parents are the legal guardians of the baby and are legally obliged to support and rear that baby all of the way to its adulthood. I would further presume that the girl could, after she turns 18, get (or compel) her parents to legally transfer the parental rights of the child to her, if she wanted that.

Like the so-called "partial birth" abortion issue, parental notification laws are intended to be a foot in the door for prohibiting all abortions. Unlike the "partial birth" abortion issue some of them are valid laws.

With Christian Republicans coming out of the closet since 2004 and large numbers of prominant Democrats claiming that they, too, love Jesus, the struggle to keep abortion legal will soon become very difficult. America's interest in returning religion to the "public square" is not limited to Republicans and the first casualty of that trend in domestic policy is likely to be abortion rights.

As bad as the abortion rights situation is, please recognize how slowly the religious conservatives have been able to progress in that area since they began chipping away in earnest in the early 1980s. At this rate, they'll get us to theocracy in 274 years.

When urging all of you to vote for Republican candidates for the U.S. legislature, I recognize the domestic threats to individual rights. Congress deals far less often with the abortion issue than do state legislators. If you are a single-issue voter on religion (I'm not), cast your anti-religion vote locally by voting against religious conservatives for state offices, but--please--cast your anti-theocracy vote globally by voting against all Democratic candidates for the U.S. Congress.

The current Democratic leadership in Congress will not fight theocracy abroad. In the Senate, they are arguing for a stalemate and in the House they're demanding an immediate and global retreat. They're going for stalemate or retreat at a time when Iran is only one or two years away from procuring, from North Korea, a nuclear umbrella (or a nuclear sword). Once Iran has the weapon, our policy choices against international theocracy will be nuclear stalemate or nuclear war.

Only one man in the world is in the position to stop this from happening: President George Bush.

Since he sent his envoy, Secy. Rice, make "negotiations" with Iran (in June), he has moved us towards nuclear stalemate. But in the past Mr. Bush has shown the capacity learn from the facts on the ground, adopt new policy perspectives, and to adjust his actions. But if he is tied up bickering with the Democratic Party leadership in the House and the Senate, he'll have no time or space for learning; he learns slowly. All he'll have time for is a futile effort to prevent the opposition from re-writing the invasion of Iraq as a crime and the history of the 9/11 attack as a Republican-created debacle. All he'll have time for is an uphill effort to prevent the opposition from precipitously abandoning Iraq.

The best chance we have for a non-nuclear confrontation with Iran is with a Republican-controlled congress.

The best chance we have for preventing a rout in Iraq--and, potentially another 10-year-long, post-Vietnam-war American foreign policy malaise--is with a Republican-controlled congress.

Which Republicans?

Any Republicans.

Any man who will join the Republican Caucus and vote to give the president's party control of the committee chairmanships and the legislative agenda is a man who will help prevent a precipitous, demoralizing, and self-imposed defeat in our war against Islamo-fascism.

Islamo-fascism is the only religous force in the world that has threatened to impose theocracy since the Salem witchcraft trials. If you want to keep religion and it morality of death out of your life, one way to help make that happen is to help elect Republicans to the U.S. congress.

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Hi Michelle, I understand you to be saying that it'd be worse to be a pregnant teen in a backwards Islamic society than in a pre-Roe-vs-Wade society. I don't understand why this is relevant to the election, or to the point I was making, that it is not known that terrorists are more likely than Christians to bring ruin to some of the individuals around us.

No, I was referring to the daughters of Muslim immigrants in the West, who may get killed by their families for merely dating, without getting pregnant or even having sex. Honor Killing is justified as long as the girl's conduct is perceived as promiscuous. It is practiced even against adult daughters who left their families, and are tracked down and killed for "living promiscuously" or simply for marrying an infidel. The Democrats can offer no opposition to the multicultural claim that Muslim immigrants have a "right" to practice this custom.

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Peikoff on the coming election (October 19, 2006)

In my judgment, anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life—which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world.

(www.Peikoff.com)

I think Dr Peikoff is essentially correct in his estimate. What's your opinion?

Please note that Dr. Peikoff prefaced his comment here with "In my judgment..." leaving room for differences in opinion by thinking individuals. In my judgment, he did not intend to offer anything more than his opinion.

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Peikoff on the coming election (October 19, 2006)

"In my judgment, anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life—which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world."

(www.Peikoff.com)

Please note that Dr. Peikoff prefaced his comment here with "In my judgment..." leaving room for differences in opinion by thinking individuals.

Carolyn, with all due respect, I am aghast at this attempted justification. According to your interpretation, then, Leonard Peikoff was "leaving room for differences in opinion by thinking individuals" when he said:

Ladies and gentlemen: in my judgment, Ayn Rand did live by her philosophy.

(Voice of Reason, "My Thirty Years With Ayn Rand: An Intellectual Memoir," by Leonard Peikoff, p. 352)

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It hurts, but it's time to make our peace with the fact that Dr. Peikoff was wrong on this one.

Further, he should acknowledge this error explicitly.

(For what it's worth: the man has been one of my heroes for ten years.)

JohnRGT

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Right now I do not care about theocracy, that's a long term thing way off the map, America is far away from that ...

... and getting farther away all the time.

In the 1940-50's USA I grew up in, we had to start every public school day with ten verses from the Bible. It was the law. Abortion was illegal in every single state and birth control of any kind was illegal in many states. Homosexuality was a crime. Adultery was the only grounds for getting a divorce and the process took years. It was a crime to have a store open on the "Lord's Day." My state-approved biology textbook hardly mentioned evolution. This was god-awful, but it was not a theocracy.

Since then the trend has been away from all these laws although some Conservatives have made feeble attempts to restore a few of them, in watered-down form, with almost no political success. There are serious obstacles to overcome: the Constitution, life- tenured sitting Federal judges, liberals and Democrats, the ACLU, and all the Christians and conservatives who don't want their views imposed by force.

Because politics is an effect and not a cause, before theocrats can take over the government, they have to take over the culture. That means, as Objectivists always point out, taking over the colleges. The liberal Leftists are firmly entrenched everywhere in Academia -- even in the Christian colleges -- with Objectivists beginning to make small, but significant, inroads.

Therefore, there is NO possibility of conservative Republicans imposing a Christian theocracy on the U.S. even if they wanted to -- and I don't see any evidence that mainstream Republicans, Conservatives, and Christians want to.

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[...]

Because politics is an effect and not a cause, before theocrats can take over the government, they have to take over the culture. That means, as Objectivists always point out, taking over the colleges. The liberal Leftists are firmly entrenched everywhere in Academia -- even in the Christian colleges -- with Objectivists beginning to make small, but significant, inroads.

Therefore, there is NO possibility of conservative Republicans imposing a Christian theocracy on the U.S. even if they wanted to -- and I don't see any evidence that mainstream Republicans, Conservatives, and Christians want to.

I voted Republican because I'm not convinced that theocracy is a real threat in my lifetime. However I could, and would, change my mind if the existence of such a threat could be demonstrated to me.

One thing that alarms me is this: I have heard that Christian intellectuals are starting to make inroads into academia. I don't know how many, or how rapidly, but I do see it as a potential threat. If the leftists are on their way out, they will leave an intellectual power vacuum. It looks like plenty of Christian intellectuals know this and are moving to fill that void. If we Objectivists cannot get enough of our own intellectuals in fast enough, we could be in trouble.

One thing I am certain of: religious threat or not, ARI’s mission must succeed. If not, our civilization will go down hill fast one way or another, and in the next few decades.

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After doing more thinking about the arguments presented by Dr. Peikoff about the coming election, I have the following comments.

If, as Dr. Peikoff claims, the stakes are that high and the only way to save the U.S. is to topple the Republicans, then the act of voting is far from sufficient. One had to campaign vigorously for the Democrats over the last few months. One had to donate as much as he could afford to the Democrat Party. Objectivists had to organize under the banner “Objectivists for the Democrats” (similarly to the “Libertarians for Bush” in 2004) and promote their views. Simply casting one’s vote is no more than a symbolic act. I would ask those who agree with Dr. Peikoff and intend to vote for the Democrats: What have you done to promote the Democrats over the last few months?

I do not think that the only way to save the U.S. is to topple the Republicans by bringing the Democrats to power. Back in 1992, I was convinced by Dr. Peikoff’s arguments in favor of voting for Clinton. I am afraid that his predictions did not come true. The Republicans did not learn their lesson and improved their ways. The horrors of 9/11 are not blamed on the Democrats (as they should be).

I intend to vote individually for each candidate according to his specific agenda rather than according to his Party affiliation.

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If, as Dr. Peikoff claims, the stakes are that high and the only way to save the U.S. is to topple the Republicans, then the act of voting is far from sufficient. One had to campaign vigorously for the Democrats over the last few months. One had to donate as much as he could afford to the Democrat Party. Objectivists had to organize under the banner “Objectivists for the Democrats” (similarly to the “Libertarians for Bush” in 2004) and promote their views. Simply casting one’s vote is no more than a symbolic act. I would ask those who agree with Dr. Peikoff and intend to vote for the Democrats: What have you done to promote the Democrats over the last few months?

Perhaps those energies are better directed elsewhere?

After all, the actual act of voting doesn't require much effort. Vigorously promoting the Democrats would require a lot of energy - energy that could be directed elsewhere such as in promoting Objectivism.

I do not think that the only way to save the U.S. is to topple the Republicans by bringing the Democrats to power. Back in 1992, I was convinced by Dr. Peikoff’s arguments in favor of voting for Clinton. I am afraid that his predictions did not come true. The Republicans did not learn their lesson and improved their ways.

I am unfamiliar with the arguments of Dr. Peikoff for Clinton. Did he argue that the Republicans would correct their big government tendencies? If that is so, then I would say that the Republicans did realize their mistakes somewhat - the Gringrich "revolutionaries" won 1994 on the platform of reducing government even though the resolve weakened later.

The horrors of 9/11 are not blamed on the Democrats (as they should be).

Should be by whom? There are many people who ARE blaming the Democrats for it. And don't you think that the Republicans too deserve a large part of the blame?

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Perhaps those energies are better directed elsewhere?

After all, the actual act of voting doesn't require much effort. Vigorously promoting the Democrats would require a lot of energy - energy that could be directed elsewhere such as in promoting Objectivism.

Thank you for proving my point. Promoting Objectivism, not toppling the Republicans by bringing the Democrats to power, is what can save this country. And given the Democrats' record on PC speech codes, it will be harded to promote Objectivism on campus under the Democrats.

I am unfamiliar with the arguments of Dr. Peikoff for Clinton. Did he argue that the Republicans would correct their big government tendencies? If that is so, then I would say that the Republicans did realize their mistakes somewhat - the Gringrich "revolutionaries" won 1994 on the platform of reducing government even though the resolve weakened later.
If the resolve weakened later, than the strategy did not work. Certainly not for the price of having the Clinton Administration for security policy.
Should be by whom? There are many people who ARE blaming the Democrats for it. And don't you think that the Republicans too deserve a large part of the blame?

Should be by those who think the Democrats can't possibly be worse than the Republicans. And, no, I don't think the Republicans deserve a large part of the blame. They wouldn't have followed Clinton's eight-year legacy of passivity and appeasement.

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Thank you for proving my point. Promoting Objectivism, not toppling the Republicans by bringing the Democrats to power, is what can save this country. And given the Democrats' record on PC speech codes, it will be harded to promote Objectivism on campus under the Democrats.

Presuming that the "Fairness Doctrine" is reimplemented (though I doubt it even with a Democratic control of the Congress), how do you think that will significantly affect the promotion of O'ism on campus?

Further, Dr. Peikoff argued in '04 (and I presume he has not changed any part of his opinion) that Bush was working for a massive entrenchment of religion into our political system for instance through government sponsorship of religion. Further, he has massively energized the fundamentalist base to work for religion-inspired laws into the government. I don't think such laws will be in principle the same as they were in the 40s.

For one thing, Bush is entrenching religion at the federal level. More importantly, in the 40s, religion was a dying force. Today, fundamentalist religion is a rising force.

I doubt that the Christian fundamentalists will stop at abortion. Once it is banned, they will undoubtedly clamor for explicit censorship based on ideology - something the Democrats will never clamor for because they are anti-ideological on principle.

So the concretes may be similar to previous times for a while but the fundamental principles behind them and the direction in which those principles lead to are quite different.

If the resolve weakened later, than the strategy did not work.

At least it brought back the correct alternative back on the table - at least for a while. However if the Republicans remain in power, there is absolutely NO hope of the correct alternative ever being put on the table.

Certainly not for the price of having the Clinton Administration for security policy.

And how and why do you think that a Republican Administration would have had a better security policy that would have prevented 9/11. Keep in mind that the first WTC bombings occurred in 1993 - soon after Bush I lost office.

Should be by those who think the Democrats can't possibly be worse than the Republicans. And, no, I don't think the Republicans deserve a large part of the blame. They wouldn't have followed Clinton's eight-year legacy of passivity and appeasement.

Why do you think they wouldn't have followed Clinton's appeasement? After all, appeasement is all the Republicans have been doing since the 50s except for a few exceptions.

Who was it who surrendered American oil fields to the Muslims? Who was it who tolerated the Lebanon bombings? Who was it who sold arms to Iran and supplied money to Afghans which led to the birth of the Al-Qaeda? Who was it who tolerated the Salman Rushdie affair? (Hint: it wasn't the Democrats)

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Who was it who sold arms to Iran and supplied money to Afghans which led to the birth of the Al-Qaeda?

In my above sentence it is wrongly implied that the US government directly or indirectly funded the Al-Qaeda. I meant to say that it funded the mujahideen which later became a part of the al-Qaeda thereby unwittingly increasing the power of the group.

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I wrote the original email to Dr. Peikoff that started this discussion. What you see is an excerpt from that email. It's purpose was to ask if he was interested, or knew of anyone who might be interested, in forming an Objectivist political party. I know that there are a lot of great minds who either embrace it or are heavily influenced by it, and we desperately need great minds in the right places if this country is to survive.

I'm very interested to see if there are like minds on this.

Thank you.

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TommyEdison,

I am not defending the Republicans, I am questioning the wisdom of bringing the Democrats back to power. (You can refer to my posts on the thread "It's Time to Dump the Republicans.") If you think the Republicans are as bad as the Democrats, then why vote Democratic? The negation of a negative does not make a positive. And if you are convinced that the Democrats are less bad, then why not promote them?

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If you think the Republicans are as bad as the Democrats, then why vote Democratic? The negation of a negative does not make a positive.
Actually, if the two are equally bad, then the best situation is gridlock. Make them expend their energy fighting each other rathe than ganging up on the rights of American citizens.

The other reason why I personally am open to voting for a Democrat in '08 (maybe Joe Lieberman) is that it is possible their candidate will be even more pro-war than the Republican candidate. I'm not saying I necessarily will vote that way, just that I am willing to wait and see.

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And if you are convinced that the Democrats are less bad, then why not promote them?

I can't and don't presume to speak for Dr. Peikoff and others especially since I have not listened to his DIM hypothesis course.

Speaking for myself, I think that the most efficient way to save the US is by spreading O'ism primarily in the academia. Any ounce of effort wasted elsewhere is wrong. However there are many other evils in this country and to the extent that it is possible, one should support the least of the evils which in my judgment are the Democrats.

I also don't think that the vote this November or in 2008 will precipitate a Christian theocracy significantly - 5-10 years at the most but that's it. If the Republicans are unable to alter the legal system to their whims right now, they will do it 10 years later. It is the dominant philosophy which guides a country which today is altruism.

Unless that is changed, the US has no chance.

Electing the Democrats however will prolong somewhat a dictatorship which will translate into increased time for O'ism to spread. In regard to the Islamists - it will also put back the option of total war on the table. Granted, given the state of things, that option is not likely to be implemented but at least there is some chance.

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I still do not understand this fear of the Republicans-or rather, this fear of an historical event (theocracy) which has not happened significantly in Western History in a long, long, long time. Give our Founding Fathers some credit! They weren't idiots when they designed our most superior Constitution, which through all the corruption of our modern state still allows us to retain an enormous amount of freedom.

Rather, people should be worried about Nihilism...specifically the nihilism of the left. In a time of war, it is nihilism, rather than Christianity, which will empower our enemies. As Camus once stated in his Introduction to The Rebel:

If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning, and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance. There is no pro or con: the murderer is neither right nor wrong. We are free to stoke the crematory fires or to devote ourselves to the care of lepers. Evil and virtue are mere chance or caprice.

And while I do not agree with the Philosophy of Albert Camus, I can sympathize with this statement as an indicator of what is to be expected under the Democrats. It is exactly their nihilism, hidden under the visage of multiculturalism and the "oh-so-intellectual" anti-Americanism, which will leave a vacuum for continued destruction. And with each passing complacency, the Muslims will become even more bold, their attacks will increase, both in size and in scale, and thus it is not Christianity but rather a theocratic Ameristan under the rule of tribal Islamic clerics that we must beware of. That is the only theocracy which is possible in America in the next hundred years or more-that of direct conquest and subjugation.

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