Peter Brown

Japan.

19 posts in this topic

Is Japan the ideal location to focus our efforts on advancing Objectivism?

A few things I have noticed, these are things I scribbled down on paper awhile back..

-- Emotions are shown to have direct causes in Japanese film, also the actors tend to act more emotionally, not necessarily over emotionally because we in the West are used to people, especially men, repressing their emotions; so whilst I think that guy is acting over emotionally maybe he's happier than I am? If Japanese people are happier, why? Or what about the swing in emotion from happiness to sadness?

-- Technological superiority, self-sufficiency, trade, I'd argue the most advanced mixed economy on Earth with the best allocation of public funds for public consumption [infrastructure].

-- The suicide rate, the extreme between happiness and sadness, good and evil, Japanese revisionism of history and what it means.

-- The lack of a dominant epistemological bent/sweeping movement that has the nation in its epistemological grip. Or rather, the total lack of epistemology and how you can see it in Japanese culture.

-- The lack of English [lack of infiltration of bad ideas].

-- Isolationism and conservatism [in the sense of status-quo].

-- The fall of authority.

-- Atheism as a step towards Egoism, as enabling self-esteem, implicit Egoism through the wide acceptance culturally of business enterprise, market, and especially commercialism in Japan.

Shinjuku_skyline_night.JPG

shinjuku.jpeg

Could bringing about an LFC be sparked best by erasing irrationalism in what seems to be the nation with the most rational people?

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-- The lack of English [lack of infiltration of bad ideas].
You mean bad ideas are only in English?!

Also, there is actually a lot of English in Japan. They have an entire syllabary (katakana) dedicated to borrowing foreign (mostly English) words. Everyone must take English in school.

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Is Japan the ideal location to focus our efforts on advancing Objectivism?

A few things I have noticed, these are things I scribbled down on paper awhile back.

-- Technological superiority, self-sufficiency, trade, I'd argue the most advanced mixed economy on Earth with the best allocation of public funds for public consumption [infrastructure].

WHAT? You do realize Japan has been stagnant for the last decade! Are you saying "allocation of public funds for public consumption" is a good thing?

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You mean bad ideas are only in English?!

I second your question. What's more, I would go as far as to say that while bad ideas are in all languages, good ideas today are almost exclusively in English.

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Is Japan the ideal location to focus our efforts on advancing Objectivism?

...

Could bringing about an LFC be sparked best by erasing irrationalism in what seems to be the nation with the most rational people?

I'm sorry, do you know the ideas that are innate to the culture of Japan? The worship of the sword, and the strict subjugation of society? Those magnificent glowing buildings you put a picture of were only produced by a transplantation of a number of ideas expressed in the English language. Whether those be good or bad I leave to you. But as parting words, I'd like you to notice something -- with the recession of Western self-assertiveness, Japanese culture has receded accordingly, with the renewed veneration of the old Shinto and Samurai traditions. There's nothing "natural" at all in the Japanese culture to produce beneficent things on its own, no implicit tradition and culture stretching out for thousands of years as in the West.

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You mean bad ideas are only in English?!

Also, there is actually a lot of English in Japan. They have an entire syllabary (katakana) dedicated to borrowing foreign (mostly English) words. Everyone must take English in school.

Did I say bad ideas are only in English? No.

The fact this current generation in Japan is passing through school learning English is a huge advantage for Objectivist activity in Japan.

I think you mean Romaji, which is the romanization of Japanese. You'd find most words pinned to 'English' are etymologically and linguistically Latin or Germanic words rather than English, furthermore English has added virtually the same amount of words to every other language, especially since the birth of computing (although probably more words to the indo-european languages).

I have seen your YouTube video, I worship individualism not the United States of America like yourself -- there's simply no reason for patriotism at all. As Ayn Rand herself said, loyalty is like a rubber band that wears thin. From my observations I have concluded that the essence of patriotism is undeserved loyalty, and thus I think patriotism is evil [the immoral = impractical (patriotism as a completely unnecessary waste of time)]. Many of the things people call patriotism is really just plain loyalty and pride. Pride in one's nation, do you write down your own pride? Then why do it for one's nation? The only reason I can imagine wanting to write down my accomplishments is if I was no longer accomplishing great things and I wanted the written history of my previous accomplishments to remind me of how great I used to be lest I lose the will to live. This is the purpose patriotism serves... and if you're only learning this for the first time -- knowledge of patriotism's true essence acts also as vindication that the United States is running on inertia from the 19th century and heading towards the dark ages because of the evolution of 19th [e.g. Kant] century ideas.

I do not know about you but I took the book Atlas Shrugged extremely seriously, I am currently taking steps to shrug and I am only 19 years of age. People traveling through a country do not have to pay income taxes, etc. For instance, I can stay in the United States for 122 days, some countries 9 months, as a tourist, after awhile you lose domicile and become a permanent tourist and have no obligations to your homeland all thanks to the 19th century (electricity) and the most beautiful invention of the 20th century (in my opinion), the Boeing 747-400.

You asked us not to over-analyse your YouTube video here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1irnDGjOkk

"America is better than your country"

... your thread title was explicitly "My patriotic YouTube video".

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Those magnificent glowing buildings you put a picture of were only produced by a transplantation of a number of ideas expressed in the English language.

[bold added by me]

If some group of Japanese businessmen create big buildings that is not the accomplishment of the people who discovered individual liberty and delivered it to Japan, but the businessmen. The reason Japan is a wealthy, western industrialized nation is because the United States forced a constitution down their throats, and same with Germany -- you notice the best industrial economies of the world have had the United States force a constitution down their throats? By any means my last two sentences are not contradictions, liberty is discovered, and sometimes such knowledge is delivered by its discoverers; but the achievements of the receiver of such discoveries, Japan, who implemented them, are the sole effort of the people who are then free (because of the implementations), i.e.: the businessmen who put those buildings together (whether they bought the knowledge of building construction from English speakers or Americans or from Germans or from Greeks does not matter, nor whether 90% of their engineers were imported from the United States). The fact of the matter is the skyscrapers in Tokyo are man's will in action.

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WHAT? You do realize Japan has been stagnant for the last decade! Are you saying "allocation of public funds for public consumption" is a good thing?

Japan has been booming, the only two reasons they raised interest rates recently is because there was an exogenous factor that would not make the public suspicious of a rate hike [so you can blame it on energy prices] and to slow down what it sees as 'excessive' growth. They say it was inflation, that's central banking for you...

0% interest rates are extremely bullish, the lower the interest rate, the lower the inflation rate, and because the interest rate is universal and under 2% (increase in gold supply annually) means that Japan has been going through a period of extreme deflation. The background for the rate rise (rather than the timing) in Japan, with interest rates now at 0.5% is because Japan wants to depreciate the Yen for its own exporters and so the US dollar can stop falling against it, boosting up the US dollar. This is all long term stuff, not spare of the moment short ranged foreign exchange market nuance, where the theory goes that a nations currency will appreciate if it raises interest rates [which is completely false]). Central banks invert things with a brilliant PR campaign, that raising interest rates will fight inflation [when it expands its effects by causing less demand for the physical currency used over the counter (which means more than the banks holding FX reserves overnight to receive the interest rate differential, this act actually reduces the demand for that currency long term because the reserve holdings change almost hourly [in the tens of billions] and thus go through massive fluctuations putting strain on the interbank money markets)].

Something to remember is the prime factor which determines whether a central bank will raise or lower interest rates is whether it can blame an exogenous factor and fool the market. Central banks know sometimes years in advance whether they will raise interest rates and by how much, the only thing they play with then is timing -- this gives them time to work on PR -- ask a central banker [the jobs of those on the board is only PR, managing US T-bond purchases, and targetting the Fed funds rate [for the Fed]]. Evidence for this lies in central bank minutes, there is never an inconsistency in the editing! Also take a look at the speech writing as well as presentations that members of a central bank do almost daily to business groups, times in history where central bankers have told reporters what they're going to do next and how far it was before they actually did it.

Hope it helps [i trade the financial markets, and intend to do it for a living].

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WHAT? You do realize Japan has been stagnant for the last decade! Are you saying "allocation of public funds for public consumption" is a good thing?

Ohh and read Jean Baptiste Say's treatise on Political-Economy, there's a good part on public consumption.

I'm saying that Japan is the best allocator of public funds for public consumption, and in Say's treatise, he talks in detail about it... [i have highlighted the important part].

Besides the wants of individuals and of families which it is the object of private consumption to satisfy, the collection of many individuals into a community gives rise to a new class of wants, the wants of the society in its aggregate capacity, the satisfaction of which is the object of public consumption. The public buys and consumes the personal service of the minister, that directs its affairs, the soldier, that protects it from external violence, the civil or criminal judge, that protects the rights and interests of each member against the aggression of the rest. All these different vocations have their use, although they may often be unnecessarily multiplied or overpaid; but that arises from a defective political organization, which it does not fall within the scope of this work to investigate.

III.VI.1

We shall see presently whence it is, that the public derives all the values, wherewith it purchases the services of its agents, as well as the articles its wants require. All we have to consider in this chapter is, the mode in which its consumption is effected, and the consequences resulting from it.

III.VI.2

If I have made myself understood in the commencement of this third book, my readers will have no difficulty in comprehending, that public consumption, or that which takes place for the general utility of the whole community, is precisely analogous to that consumption, which goes to satisfy the wants of individuals or families. In either case, there is a destruction of values, and a loss of wealth; although, perhaps, not a shilling of specie goes out of the country.

III.VI.3

By way of insuring conviction of the truth of this position, let us trace from first to last the passage of a product towards ultimate consumption on the public account.

III.VI.4

The government exacts from a tax-payer the payment of a given tax in the shape of money. To meet this demand, the tax-payer exchanges part of the products at his disposal for coin, which he pays to the tax-gatherer:*25 a second set of government agents is busied in buying with that coin, cloth and other necessaries for the soldiery. Up to this point, there is no value lost or consumed: there has only been a gratuitous transfer of value, and a subsequent act of barter: but the value contributed by the subject still exists in the shape of stores and supplies in the military depôt. In the end, however, this value is consumed; and then the portion of wealth, which passes from the hands of the tax-payer into those of the tax-gatherer, is destroyed and annihilated.

III.VI.5

Yet it is not the sum of money that is destroyed: that has only passed from one hand to another, either without any return, as when it passed from the tax-payer to the tax-gatherer; or in exchange for an equivalent, as when it passed from the government agent to the contractor for clothing and supplies. The value of the money survives the whole operation, and goes through three, four, or a dozen hands, without any sensible alteration; it is the value of the clothing and necessaries that disappears, with precisely the same effect, as if the tax-payer had, with the same money, purchased clothing and necessaries for his own private consumption. The sole difference is, that the individual in the one case, and the state in the other enjoys the satisfaction resulting from that consumption.

III.VI.6

The same reasoning may be easily applied to all other kinds of public consumption. When the money of the tax-payer goes to pay the salary of a public officer, that officer sells his time, his talents, and his exertions, to the public, all of which are consumed for public purposes. On the other hand, that officer consumes, instead of the tax-payer, the value he receives in lieu of his services; in the same manner as any clerk or person in the private employ of the tax-payer would do.

III.VI.7

There has been long a prevalent notion, that the values, paid by the community for the public service, return to it again in some shape or other; in the vulgar phrase, that what government and its agents receive, is refunded again by their expenditure. This is a gross fallacy; but one that has been productive of infinite mischief, inasmuch as it has been the pretext for a great deal of shameless waste and dilapidation. The value paid to government by the tax-payer is given without equivalent or return: it is expended by the government in the purchase of personal service, of objects of consumption; in one word, of products of equivalent value, which are actually transferred. Purchase or exchange is a very different thing from restitution.*26

III.VI.8

Turn it which way you will, this operation, though often very complex in the execution, must always be reducible by analysis to this plain statement. A product consumed must always be a product lost, be the consumer who he may; lost without return, whenever no value or advantage is received in return; but, to the tax-payer, the advantage derived from the services of the public functionary, or from the consumption effected in the prosecution of public objects, is a positive return.

III.VI.9

If, then, public and private expenditure affect social wealth in the same manner, the principles of economy, by which it should be regulated, must be the same in both cases. There are not two kinds of economy, any more than two kinds of honesty, or of morality. If a government or an individual consume in such a way, as to give birth to a product larger than that consumed, a successful effort of productive industry will be made. If no product result from the act of consumption, there is a loss of value, whether to the state or to the individual; yet, probably, that loss of value may have been productive of all the good anticipated. Military stores and supplies, and the time and labour of civil and military functionaries, engaged in the effectual defence of the state, are well bestowed, though consumed and annihilated; it is the same with them, as with the commodities and personal service, that have been consumed in a private establishment. The sole benefit resulting in the latter case is, the satisfaction of a want; if the want had no existence, the expense or consumption is a positive mischief, incurred without an object. So likewise of the public consumption; consumption for the mere purpose of consumption, systematic profusion, the creation of an office for the sole purpose of giving a salary, the destruction of an article for the mere pleasure of paying for it, are acts of extravagance either in a government or an individual, in a small state or a large one, a republic or a monarchy. Nay, there is more criminality in public, than in private extravagance and profusion; inasmuch as the individual squanders only what belongs to him; but the government has nothing of its own to squander, being, in fact, a mere trustee of the public treasure.*27

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I think you mean Romaji, which is the romanization of Japanese.
No, I definitely mean katakana - a set of ~50 characters used exclusively to imitate foreign words. Most of the words are English - the only exception I can remember is arubaito, which comes from the German "arbeit."

I took four semesters of Japanese so I know what I'm talking about.

I have seen your YouTube video, I worship individualism not the United States of America like yourself -- there's simply no reason for patriotism at all. As Ayn Rand herself said, loyalty is like a rubber band that wears thin.
While we're quoting Ayn Rand, how about this one?

"I can say - not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political, and aesthetic roots - that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world."

The only reason I can imagine wanting to write down my accomplishments is if I was no longer accomplishing great things and I wanted the written history of my previous accomplishments to remind me of how great I used to be lest I lose the will to live.
It's perfectly healthy to celebrate past accomplishments.
I do not know about you but I took the book Atlas Shrugged extremely seriously, I am currently taking steps to shrug and I am only 19 years of age. People traveling through a country do not have to pay income taxes, etc.
Dude, do you really think Ayn Rand wants us to avoid the income tax? We're not in the dire situation the protagonists of AS were in. You change the culture by spreading the right ideas, not by living in a refurbished bus in the middle of nowhere with a loaded shotgun and a hot temper. Leave that to the libertarians.

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No, I definitely mean katakana - a set of ~50 characters used exclusively to imitate foreign words. Most of the words are English - the only exception I can remember is arubaito, which comes from the German "arbeit."

I took four semesters of Japanese so I know what I'm talking about.

While we're quoting Ayn Rand, how about this one?

"I can say - not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political, and aesthetic roots - that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world."

It's perfectly healthy to celebrate past accomplishments.

Dude, do you really think Ayn Rand wants us to avoid the income tax? We're not in the dire situation the protagonists of AS were in. You change the culture by spreading the right ideas, not by living in a refurbished bus in the middle of nowhere with a loaded shotgun and a hot temper. Leave that to the libertarians.

Yes, I don't merely think that, I know she'd most emphatically advocate it, infact, it's somewhat of a moral imperative if you really care about your life and given the cost of travel and the abundance of tax havens as well as international professions -- it depends upon your profession however IMHO -- if you're a 45 year old plumber who has built clients in San Diego and San Diego only then probably not a good idea.

Not as a patriotic bromide, she had reasons, and yes the US is the only moral country in the history of the world.

I now recommend you look at the ominous parallels.

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Yes, I don't merely think that, I know she'd most emphatically advocate it, infact, it's somewhat of a moral imperative if you really care about your life . . .
No, she wouldn't, which is why she didn't. If paying taxes means you don't care about your life, then you and Aaron Russo are the only people on the planet who do.
Not as a patriotic bromide, she had reasons, and yes the US is the only moral country in the history of the world.
I'm glad you've changed your mind.
I now recommend you look at the ominous parallels.
I bought and read it several years ago. Dr. Peikoff's work was a warning, not an explanation of present-day America. We are still the freest country on the planet, and are nowhere close to the world of Atlas Shrugged.

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[...]

I do not know about you but I took the book Atlas Shrugged extremely seriously, I am currently taking steps to shrug and I am only 19 years of age. People traveling through a country do not have to pay income taxes, etc. For instance, I can stay in the United States for 122 days, some countries 9 months, as a tourist, after awhile you lose domicile and become a permanent tourist and have no obligations to your homeland all thanks to the 19th century (electricity) and the most beautiful invention of the 20th century (in my opinion), the Boeing 747-400.

[...]

I think you are seriously mistaken about Atlas Shrugged. The plot-device of the men of the mind withdrawing from the world was exactly that, a plot-device to demonstrate the role of man's mind in his existence. It was not a cry to all rational individuals out in the world to withdraw from it themselves. Given the state of the United States, it is not in your interest to "shrug" and withdraw from society. Ayn Rand herself never did, even when the regulations and income taxes were in some cases worse than they are now*. She kept writing and advocating her philosophy throughout her life after she wrote Atlas Shrugged. I don't think it's rational to avoid income taxes and regulations at all costs. There is so much you can still achieve, so much you can enjoy in life, that those are comparatively small burdens to bear (for now at least). On the other hand, if do decide to "shrug", I hope you realize how incredibly slim the chances are the world is going to collapse as a result of that. You'll live a very restricted life and for what?

*In the post war era, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 94%, gradually brought down to 35% beginning with Kennedy to the present. It had even reached 28% near the end of Reagan's term, but was subsequently raised by later presidents. Bush himself implemented (meager) tax cuts, which are due to expire soon if Congress doesn't renew them.

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No, she wouldn't, which is why she didn't. If paying taxes means you don't care about your life, then you and Aaron Russo are the only people on the planet who do.

Ayn Rand avoided taxes as much as she could, the estate still works to avoid taxes and the Ayn Rand Institute strongly advocates it (i.e.: gift of stock to ARI]).

I'm glad you've changed your mind.

I haven't changed my mind. I said quote

Not as a patriotic bromide, she had reasons, and yes the US is the only moral country in the history of the world.
.

Where have I said that the United States is not the only moral country in the history of the world?

I bought and read it several years ago. Dr. Peikoff's work was a warning, not an explanation of present-day America. We are still the freest country on the planet, and are nowhere close to the world of Atlas Shrugged.

Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, the Republic of Chile, Bermuda, Vanuatu, Monaco, etc... these nations are far more free than the United States... with particular emphasis on the Republic of Chile which is my primary focus for implementing pure, unregulated, Laissez Faire Capitalism. The Republic of Chile is the only nowist country which is moving towards and not away from free market capitalism. Japan has recently popped up into my playbook, since I will be trading the financial markets and moving around the world as a permanent tourist, with that EN-JP liason/language upperhand on Wall Street. I also like the Asian Tigers, particularly Hong Kong, whose skyline makes New York City look like Darfur.

The United States has far advanced ahead of the trends highlighted in Atlas Shrugged. The United States portrayed in Atlas Shrugged is almost exactly like the United States from 1929-1945, and when you look at the concretes you can see periods where the trend is worse faster than the worst of times in Atlas Shrugged, however, this period, 1929-1945 has added swings because of world events.

There are states in the United States, such as Delaware, Florida and New Hampshire that stand as shining beacons of freedom in comparison to the rest of the United States. I am surprised the United States is not even considered a socialist nation. Ever since the United States invaded a country, which it had the right to invade, but with the only reason being the delivery of democracy, I have viewed the United States as a complete, unfettered democracy with no chance in the world of returning to a Republic unless by the stroke of luck, or the skill of the right cultural changes pulled by Objectivists, or the right man at the right time, i.e.: Rudy Guiliani becomes President in 2008, the anti-capital gains tax, pro-supply side [laffer curve] low tax rate (1-10% flat tax), anti-sales taxes, pro-choice, candidate.

Think about it, almost all western industrialized nations today are democracies, and even though the United States is technically a Republic, this means absolutely nothing because there's no way this can be so, the rest of the world [aforementioned nations] follow the direction of the United States, if the United States kills Gold, so do the rest, if the United States is the first with a Family Affairs Bureau then the rest follow.

There's no way every other democratic western industralized nation have not been, at least in key respects in regards to the evolution of democratic institutions during the 20th century, following the lead of the United States. -- with the United States being the biggest and most evolved democracy in the world.

Contrary to the stance of most Objectivists I know, on this matter, I consider the most democratic of democracies, regardless of the protection built into the Republic such as the nuances of majorities in Congress versus the popular vote in Europe obtaining absolute rule. As we all know the United States has never truly been 100% consistent as a Republic, from the contradictions beginning with 'well-regulated' in the second amendment to the passage of the 16th amendment, the United States has been in a downtrend worse than anything I think fiction, anyones fiction, can produce.

Here's an ominous parallel, ExxonMobil's CEO, a few senators, global warming deniers being attributed as worthy for Nuremburg style trials.

The convergence of ideas of the people against the Jewish minority in Nazi Germany.

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I think you are seriously mistaken about Atlas Shrugged. The plot-device of the men of the mind withdrawing from the world was exactly that, a plot-device to demonstrate the role of man's mind in his existence. It was not a cry to all rational individuals out in the world to withdraw from it themselves. Given the state of the United States, it is not in your interest to "shrug" and withdraw from society. Ayn Rand herself never did, even when the regulations and income taxes were in some cases worse than they are now*. She kept writing and advocating her philosophy throughout her life after she wrote Atlas Shrugged. I don't think it's rational to avoid income taxes and regulations at all costs. There is so much you can still achieve, so much you can enjoy in life, that those are comparatively small burdens to bear (for now at least). On the other hand, if do decide to "shrug", I hope you realize how incredibly slim the chances are the world is going to collapse as a result of that. You'll live a very restricted life and for what?

*In the post war era, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 94%, gradually brought down to 35% beginning with Kennedy to the present. It had even reached 28% near the end of Reagan's term, but was subsequently raised by later presidents. Bush himself implemented (meager) tax cuts, which are due to expire soon if Congress doesn't renew them.

What makes the United States obviously far worse today than that portrayed around the producers in Atlas Shrugged is reality.

Ayn Rand dramatized events in her novel, and it's fiction [spectacular burning of Wyatt Oil fields, heroic characters, etc]. I take Atlas Shrugged not as a future prediction, but as a theme to always keep in mind. The looting, the shrugging and everything imbetween constitutes the fiction novel of Atlas Shrugged and nothing more. If I refer someone to what is happening in contrast to what did in Atlas Shrugged that is perfectly valid.

In reality, if the world is going to the crapper people do not walk around asking Who is John Galt?

Instead people are brainwashed since they're 3 years old that being selfish is bad and told when Mom wants them to do something or has to give them a reason that it's because "Mommy said so" or "God made it so".

Irrationality comes before the social system and sooner or later everyone is extremely happy with mass censorship in the United States such as the banning of tobacco advertising or the actions of the FCC and the local regulation of the airwaves and mass slavery through progressive taxation.

No matter how high the taxes go, no matter how much the censorship increases -- no-one will question it since it has been justified by authority and authority thinks for them rather than themselves thinking independently. After all it's democracy, and most people are unwise and uneducated. There is still people on TV debating on CNN or FOX or CNBC or talk radio for the other viewpoint, but most of the listeners are inactive.

This is why I do what I do, plan for an LFC, I'd rather live in Galt's Gultch in Atlas Shrugged.

Did I ever say avoid taxes at ALL costs?

I don't shrug so the world will collapse, but rather to erect civilization. Just like no man can control all industry throughout the world, the gultch in Atlas Shrugged was nothing with only John Galt in it, I'm an individual, it's only if I were to take a group to the Cayman Islands that maybe some things may collapse :)

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no-one will question it since it has been justified by authority and authority thinks for them rather than themselves thinking independently. After all it's democracy, and most people are unwise and uneducated. There is still people on TV debating on CNN or FOX or CNBC or talk radio for the other viewpoint, but most of the listeners are inactive.

Correction, "the majority will not question [the higher taxes, increased regulations, etc]"...

I wouldn't be surprised if the United States dissolves in the next 25 years, in April 2000 the United States had liabilities of $20.1 trillion, in October 2006 when I did my calculations I got $55 trillion, in December, the Treasury for the first time ever released in its Comptroller report [chief accountant of the United States] the liabilities of the United States, summing up by government figures at $53 trillion (so I was $2 trillion off).

According to my calculations in February the United States has liabilities of $74 trillion. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in testimony after the late February crash on capitol hill cited $76 trillion.

The United States is a $12.8-$14.1 trillion/year economy.

The United States should receive tax receipts of $2.4-$2.7 trillion in the next financial year.

The public debt is $8.9 trillion.

The total liabilities of medicaid and social security is $39.5 trillion.

Just to name a few disgusting figures.

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Ayn Rand avoided taxes as much as she could, the estate still works to avoid taxes and the Ayn Rand Institute strongly advocates it (i.e.: gift of stock to ARI]).
Donations to any non-profit are tax-exempt, Peter. How does that constitute strongly advocating tax evasion? Any normal citizen will take reasonable steps to decrease his taxes, but constantly traveling around the country as a tourist? I highly doubt you're saving any money.
I haven't changed my mind. I said quote .
Not as a patriotic bromide, she had reasons, and yes the US is the only moral country in the history of the world.
You're contradicting yourself. She made a very patriotic statement - but since it was backed by reasons, she pointed it it wasn't just an empty platitude (a bromide). You said that patriotism is evil, so which is it?
Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, the Republic of Chile, Bermuda, Vanuatu, Monaco, etc... these nations are far more free than the United States...
The US is #4 on the economic freedom index. Of your list, only Hong Kong ranks higher, and that may not last for long now that China controls it.
I am surprised the United States is not even considered a socialist nation.
Have you even been to the US yet?

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[Dude, do you really think Ayn Rand wants us to avoid the income tax? We're not in the dire situation the protagonists of AS were in. You change the culture by spreading the right ideas, not by living in a refurbished bus in the middle of nowhere with a loaded shotgun and a hot temper. Leave that to the libertarians.

Yes, I don't merely think that, I know she'd most emphatically advocate it, infact, it's somewhat of a moral imperative if you really care about your life.

Ayn Rand avoided taxes as much as she could, the estate still works to avoid taxes and the Ayn Rand Institute strongly advocates it (i.e.: gift of stock to ARI]).Donations to any non-profit are tax-exempt, Peter. How does that constitute strongly advocating tax evasion?

Any normal citizen will take reasonable steps to decrease his taxes, but constantly traveling around the country as a tourist? I highly doubt you're saving any money.

A US citizen is required to pay income taxes to the US no matter where he lives if they are more than what he pays in another country.

Peter can do what he wants and take the risks he wants, but he is mistaken about Ayn Rand urging avoidance of paying income taxes, let alone claiming it is a "moral imperative". She emphatically advocated a future society in which such taxes would not be imposed, she especially opposed redistribution, and she did not shrink from morally denouncing those who advocate the current high taxes and tax increases, but she did not advocate breaking the law to evade taxes and did not advocate living on the run in the hope of staying out of the system.

She did not say there is a "moral imperative" to avoid income taxes or anything else. There are no "moral imperatives" in Objectivism, which is a Kantian notion contradicting the nature of moral principles according to Objectivism.

She once stated that she payed at least as much in income taxes as she believed was required and that given her well known views on the subject that she was in great danger if the authorities ever thought otherwise. (I don't remember where she said that.) As early as 1947 she wrote in a private letter that she was paying enormous taxes. From the Letters of Ayn Rand:

It was completely impossible for me to help you with the purchase of a house. I suppose that you do not realize what the income tax situation is. My taxes are so high that I am not able to lend to anyone a sum as large as the one you needed.

Peter has no knowledge of "avoidance of taxes" by her "estate". Her entire estate went to Leonard Peikoff privately and paid large estate taxes before there was such a thing as the Ayn Rand Institute. It is no longer an "estate" at all because it became the property of Leonard Peikoff, so the "estate" is not "still" avoiding taxes or anything else. One suspects that her estate could have been less heavily taxed than it was if sophisticated legal arrangements had been made, but such financial matters do not seem to have been something she put much effort into. Donations to the Ayn Rand Institute are now tax exempt because it is an IRS-recognized 501[c]3 non-profit organization operating within strict rules for such a status. All such 501[c]3's qualify for the same tax status and all of them encourage donors to take advantage of it.

Any rational person should take into account the rewards and the punitive taxes he may be required to pay as a result of his efforts and choose his actions accordingly. There is no doubt a lot of business activity and investment that never occurs because it is not deemed worth it. Whatever one chooses he should at least prudently arrange his financial affairs to avoid unnecessary taxes under the law, but no one should be spreading the misconception that Ayn Rand or her supporters have promoted tax evasion or centering one's life around minimizing personal taxes as his top priority.

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...I do not know about you but I took the book Atlas Shrugged extremely seriously, I am currently taking steps to shrug and I am only 19 years of age.

I think you are seriously mistaken about Atlas Shrugged. The plot-device of the men of the mind withdrawing from the world was exactly that, a plot-device to demonstrate the role of man's mind in his existence. It was not a cry to all rational individuals out in the world to withdraw from it themselves. Given the state of the United States, it is not in your interest to "shrug" and withdraw from society. Ayn Rand herself never did, even when the regulations and income taxes were in some cases worse than they are now*. She kept writing and advocating her philosophy throughout her life after she wrote Atlas Shrugged.

In her 1964 Ford Hall Forum lecture "Is Atlas Shrugging" she said:

...although the political aspects of Atlas Shrugged are not its central theme nor its main purpose, my attitude toward these aspects—during the years of writing the novel—was contained in a brief rule I had set for myself: "The purpose of this book is to prevent itself from becoming prophetic."

Elsewhere (I forget where), she addressed the futility of going on "strike" in more detail. The "strike" in AS was a literary device for an accelerated process illustrating what happens when men of the mind are prevented from being productive. It was not an admonishment to go on strike as a tactic to fight statism.

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