Capitalism Forever

476 Rome, 2008 Washington D.C.

66 posts in this topic

What I wrote four years ago still applies today. Democracy is still delivering power into the hands of the most brazen of the demagogs, conservatism is still incapable of conserving that which is already gone, and every skirmish fought in the realm of politics by guilt-ridden, confused, disoriented Americans still continues to be lost. It is only a rational philosophy, built up from the fundamental level of metaphysics, that can arm a civilization with the pride and confidence necessary to assert itself against the Barbarians and send them back into the caves where they belong.

What alternative to Democracy would you propose. Philosopher Kings such as Plato proposed, perhaps? Or perhaps rule byh an advanced technological oligarchy such as in H.G. Wells "Things to Come"? If not these, then what?

ruveyn

The problem is that there are not enough limits on Democracy. Some things should never be subject to a vote. Things like confiscating property for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I wrote four years ago still applies today. Democracy is still delivering power into the hands of the most brazen of the demagogs, conservatism is still incapable of conserving that which is already gone, and every skirmish fought in the realm of politics by guilt-ridden, confused, disoriented Americans still continues to be lost. It is only a rational philosophy, built up from the fundamental level of metaphysics, that can arm a civilization with the pride and confidence necessary to assert itself against the Barbarians and send them back into the caves where they belong.

What alternative to Democracy would you propose. Philosopher Kings such as Plato proposed, perhaps? Or perhaps rule byh an advanced technological oligarchy such as in H.G. Wells "Things to Come"? If not these, then what?

ruveyn

The problem is that there are not enough limits on Democracy. Some things should never be subject to a vote. Things like confiscating property for example.

Then you are proposing something like the U.S. Constitution minus eminent domain and regulation of interstate commerce (in its original sense).

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What alternative to Democracy would you propose.

A Republic, of course--what America was originally founded as.

We had a Republic right up until the conclusion of the Civil War. Complete with hot and cold running slavery and slaughter of the aboriginal folks in the Great Plains area. During our "Republic" we also had the Alien and Sedition acts which could toss a person bad-mouthing the government into the jug.

Fortunately that abomination, passed during the John Adams administration was repealed during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, the slave holder.

Then of course there was the refusal of Andrew Jackson to comply with the Supreme Court on the matter of the Removal Act ( you know that one that put 8000 Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, the American version of the Bataan Death March). He said the Supreme Court made its decision, now let them enforce it.

If you get the notion that I am underwhelmed by our "Republic" you have assumed correctly.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's ridiculous of you, Ruveyn, to hold the Founders accountable for their participation in slavery. Not only can't we use ethics that are based on knowledge they didn't have to judge them, but the few that knew better weren't in a position to do much more than they did -- and they did quite a lot given the prevailing ideas of their era.

As for killing off the natives: You ned to look past revisionist history, past the notion that it makes sense to condemn people for not knowing or having what we take for granted today, past the obscene notion that the natives were angels.

You can start with this lecture based on Thomas Bowden's excellent book, Columbus Day Without Guilt (scroll to the bottom for the embedded video):

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ls_columbus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's ridiculous of you, Ruveyn, to hold the Founders accountable for their participation in slavery. Not only can't we use ethics that are based on knowledge they didn't have to judge them, but the few that knew better weren't in a position to do much more than they did -- and they did quite a lot given the prevailing ideas of their era.

As for killing off the natives: You ned to look past revisionist history, past the notion that it makes sense to condemn people for not knowing or having what we take for granted today, past the obscene notion that the natives were angels.

You can start with this lecture based on Thomas Bowden's excellent book, Columbus Day Without Guilt (scroll to the bottom for the embedded video):

http://www.aynrand.o...reg_ls_columbus

Slavery was a sin and a wrong then as mjuch as it is now. Humans have no right to own other humans as they would cattle or an inanimate object.

I will not apologize for being "ridiculous". I am a stickler for uprightness and justice and I make no compromises with either history or "context" Wrong is wrong. And that is the way it is.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way the killing of the "Natives" smells somewhat. The Cherokee Nation upon which that stone killer Andrew Jackson acted were civilized. They decided pretty fast that had to learn the ways of the "white eyes" and they did. They took up the protocols of property ownership just like white folks and some of the Cherokee even owned plantations complete with Negro Slaves. If that does not prove they were civilized nothing will. The Cherokee were nothing like the Plains Tribes, the Pawnee, the Apache, the Lakota. The chief of the Cherokee nation even went as far as developing a phonetic alphabet with which to write down Cherokee speech. Those were your "natives". Property owners, and literate. But as far as that Killer Andrew Jackson was concerned they Had to Go and Go they did. The Cherokee even hired lawyers to fight the Removal Acts and the Supreme Court of the United States found in their favor. But Jackson ignore the court decision and sent them packing. Half the Cherokee nation died on the trek out to Oklahoma.

"Natives"!!! Good God!!!

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slavery was a sin and a wrong then as mjuch as it is now.

That's simply not true. Africans were considered vastly inferior in many ways. More importantly, I'm referencing knowledge known at that time, not the religious dictates of that era.

Humans have no right to own other humans as they would cattle or an inanimate object.

Who are you addressing with this? Did I say or imply that slavery is acceptable, or did I say you can't hold the Founders accountable for what wasn't known in their day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who are you addressing with this? Did I say or imply that slavery is acceptable, or did I say you can't hold the Founders accountable for what wasn't known in their day?

Jefferson wrote: All men are created equal etc. etc. Remember that. In the Declaration of Independence. He knew slavery was wrong. And I do hold them accountable. Because they did not address the issue of slavery squarely we ended up with a Civil War that killed 620,000 people and maimed 1.5 million. This in a nation whose population was a bit over 30 million.

Jefferson also wrote this in 1770: 1770 April. "Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance."[1]

He later wrote: 1820 April 22. (to John Holmes). "But this momentous question [the Missouri question], like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union.... A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper. I can say, with conscious truth, that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way. The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-€‘preservation in the other. Of one thing I am certain, that as the passage of slaves from one State to another, would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier, and proportionally facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation, by dividing the burthen on a greater number of coadjutors."[36]

Jefferson was suffering from a major bout of cognitive dissonance or he was a hypocrite.

George Washington was somewhat better off. He manumitted his slaves prior to his death. Jefferson did not.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole point is that "men" in "men created equal" didn't include those of African descent in the prevailing view of the day.

You can make the argument that Jefferson showed signs of knowing better later on but held on to his slaves, but then you'd have to take into account writings in which he still considered them to be vastly inferior to whites. As you'd expect at the birth of a paradigm shifting idea, things aren't as clear as you're making it sound.

Stepping back far enough to take in the entire context, it's very, very difficult to accuse them of hypocrisy. And even if they were hypocritical on the slavery issue, a huge "If", pointing to that fact cannot lessen the truth of their achievements, which is the goal the Left goes pursues when it goes on and one about this alleged issue.

(Isn't the fact that you share this POV with Progressives reason enough for you rethink your position?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole point is that "men" in "men created equal" didn't include those of African descent in the prevailing view of the day.

You can make the argument that Jefferson showed signs of knowing better later on but held on to his slaves, but then you'd have to take into account writings in which he still considered them to be vastly inferior to whites. As you'd expect at the birth of a paradigm shifting idea, things aren't as clear as you're making it sound.

Stepping back far enough to take in the entire context, it's very, very difficult to accuse them of hypocrisy. And even if they were hypocritical on the slavery issue, a huge "If", pointing to that fact cannot lessen the truth of their achievements, which is the goal the Left goes pursues when it goes on and one about this alleged issue.

(Isn't the fact that you share this POV with Progressives reason enough for you rethink your position?)

Jefferson damned himself with his own pen. I take his quotes literally and verbatim. He knew better.

Judge and be judged.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jefferson damned himself with his own pen. I take his quotes literally and verbatim. He knew better.

Context matters.

There's almost always something to criticize in any great person. Those shortcoming hardly ever eclipse their contributions. And even when they do, those contributions still stand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Half the Cherokee nation died on the trek out to Oklahoma.

The lecture covers the physics of the so-called Trail of Tears. Long story short, those who went by foot did so because of their own mysticism -- they perished (those who took riverboats had negligible losses.)

You can search THE FORUM for more, as I transcribed parts of Mr Bowden's lecture for you, ruveyn, a while ago:

http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/index.php?showtopic=9175entry83319

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What alternative to Democracy would you propose.

A Republic, of course--what America was originally founded as.

[. . . ]

If you get the notion that I am underwhelmed by our "Republic" you have assumed correctly.

ruveyn

Who are you addressing with this? Did I say or imply that slavery is acceptable, or did I say you can't hold the Founders accountable for what wasn't known in their day?

Jefferson wrote: All men are created equal etc. etc. Remember that. In the Declaration of Independence. He knew slavery was wrong. And I do hold them accountable. Because they did not address the issue of slavery squarely we ended up with a Civil War that killed 620,000 people and maimed 1.5 million.

[. . . ]

Sir: Do you really think that this "Republic," with which you are underwhelmed, could have been cobbled together with the demand that slavery be abolished in one fell swoop? IIRC, the southern contingent would not have agreed to approve the Declaration of Independence had Jefferson stood firm on retaining his original language regarding slavery. There was more going on than just the issue of slavery which lead to the Civil War. After all, Great Britain abolished slavery without a war and thirty years before the US did at that.

In politics, one has to achieve what is possible, when possible, in order to reach a larger goal without losing sight of that goal, in this case, the Thirteenth Amendment. This is not hypocrisy. It is an acknowledgement of political reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What alternative to Democracy would you propose.

A Republic, of course--what America was originally founded as.

[. . . ]

If you get the notion that I am underwhelmed by our "Republic" you have assumed correctly.

ruveyn

Who are you addressing with this? Did I say or imply that slavery is acceptable, or did I say you can't hold the Founders accountable for what wasn't known in their day?

Jefferson wrote: All men are created equal etc. etc. Remember that. In the Declaration of Independence. He knew slavery was wrong. And I do hold them accountable. Because they did not address the issue of slavery squarely we ended up with a Civil War that killed 620,000 people and maimed 1.5 million.

[. . . ]

Sir: Do you really think that this "Republic," with which you are underwhelmed, could have been cobbled together with the demand that slavery be abolished in one fell swoop? IIRC, the southern contingent would not have agreed to approve the Declaration of Independence had Jefferson stood firm on retaining his original language regarding slavery. There was more going on than just the issue of slavery which lead to the Civil War. After all, Great Britain abolished slavery without a war and thirty years before the US did at that.

In politics, one has to achieve what is possible, when possible, in order to reach a larger goal without losing sight of that goal, in this case, the Thirteenth Amendment. This is not hypocrisy. It is an acknowledgement of political reality.

The original Articles of Confederation were agreeable to slave owner states. The Confederation entered in 1781 was essentially a post war arrangement and very few though it would last. They were right.

The southrons and the yankees found a common cause against the brits. That was sufficient for the time.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To continue a bit: the southrons wanted to keep their slave and the more northern types wanted to move west and take what land they could and never mind who from. Both had their agendas satisfied by a war-time alliance against the brits who forbade westward expansion.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To continue a bit: the southrons wanted to keep their slave and the more northern types wanted to move west and take what land they could and never mind who from. Both had their agendas satisfied by a war-time alliance against the brits who forbade westward expansion.

So basically you blew off the Bowden lecture I linked to, just like you blew off excerpts from that same lecture when I transcribed them in response to the same revisionist nonsense you put up a few years back.

At least you're consistent, ruveyn . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To continue a bit: the southrons wanted to keep their slave and the more northern types wanted to move west and take what land they could and never mind who from. Both had their agendas satisfied by a war-time alliance against the brits who forbade westward expansion.

So basically you blew off the Bowden lecture I linked to, just like you blew off excerpts from that same lecture when I transcribed them in response to the same revisionist nonsense you put up a few years back.

At least you're consistent, ruveyn . . .

Revisionist History = an interpretation of historical events that disagrees with the interpretation that you like the most.

History is that which was. All we have are snippets from which we draw conclusion, good, bad and indifferent.

Real History is infinite. Recorded history is a selected subset of Real history.

The only solution is a time machine and even that will not settle every disagreement. Example: The Japanese play -Rashoman-

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revisionist History = an interpretation of historical events that disagrees with the interpretation that you like the most.

What do you base this on?

History is that which was. All we have are snippets from which we draw conclusion, good, bad and indifferent.

We have way more than snippets from the people and events that are relevant to this discussion. And you sure don't write as if multiple interpretations are possible, ruveyn.

Furthermore, if you're going to cite Jefferson when it suits you then you have to go with what he and others who were directly involved in the Revolution regarding the motivation behind the revolution, don't you?

The only solution is a time machine and even that will not settle every disagreement.

That the Cherokee weren't treated as that PBS documentary claims they were doesn't require time machine confirmation.

That the knowledge needed for an all out, categorical rejection of slavery wasn't available to mankind until after the Revolution doesn't require time machine confirmation.

That the US has done more to end slavery and oppression than any other nation/culture doesn't require time machine confirmation.

That revisionism is yet another horrific consequence of what passes for a cultural philosophy nowadays doesn't require time machine confirmation.

Q: Did you actually listen to the lecture I linked to, ruveyn?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What alternative to Democracy would you propose.

A Republic, of course--what America was originally founded as.

We had a Republic right up until the conclusion of the Civil War. Complete with hot and cold running slavery and slaughter of the aboriginal folks in the Great Plains area. During our "Republic" we also had the Alien and Sedition acts which could toss a person bad-mouthing the government into the jug.

Fortunately that abomination, passed during the John Adams administration was repealed during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, the slave holder.

Then of course there was the refusal of Andrew Jackson to comply with the Supreme Court on the matter of the Removal Act ( you know that one that put 8000 Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, the American version of the Bataan Death March). He said the Supreme Court made its decision, now let them enforce it.

If you get the notion that I am underwhelmed by our "Republic" you have assumed correctly.

ruveyn

What is your point? Do you not agree that a rights-respecting Republic would be the ideal form of government?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your point? Do you not agree that a rights-respecting Republic would be the ideal form of government?

I definitely think so. Too bad we never had one. Not even to start with. The first thing that happened in 1794 was George Washing, our President led a gang 13,000 Federales into Pennsylvania to compel the local farmers to cough up a quarter a barrel tax on the whiskey they produced. That Statist from Hell Alexander Hamilton was his second in command. These thugs were ready to collect a tax on whiskey but there was no such tax on port wine and burgandy which Gentleman Dandies drank.

There is your Republic! Not too just even to the white farmers of Pennsylvania.

I believe in just governments. Do you know where I can find one?

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your point? Do you not agree that a rights-respecting Republic would be the ideal form of government?

I definitely think so. Too bad we never had one. Not even to start with. The first thing that happened in 1794 was George Washing, our President led a gang 13,000 Federales into Pennsylvania to compel the local farmers to cough up a quarter a barrel tax on the whiskey they produced. That Statist from Hell Alexander Hamilton was his second in command. These thugs were ready to collect a tax on whiskey but there was no such tax on port wine and burgandy which Gentleman Dandies drank.

There is your Republic! Not too just even to the white farmers of Pennsylvania.

I believe in just governments. Do you know where I can find one?

ruveyn

A single molehill of faults does not invalidate a mountain of merits about our Founders and the USA. We were and still are an exceptional nation. We don't need to wait for 10,000 years before an absolutely literally flawless hypothetical nation appears before we can appreciate, admire, and support good nations that exist now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A single molehill of faults does not invalidate a mountain of merits about our Founders and the USA. We were and still are an exceptional nation. We don't need to wait for 10,000 years before an absolutely literally flawless hypothetical nation appears before we can appreciate, admire, and support good nations that exist now.

What "good nations"? Every one of them levies a tax on its citizens and collects at gun-point. I beg you to forgive my short temper when it comes to theft.

Logic 101: A single counter example invalidates a general assertion. Even Aristotle got this right.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites