Reprise—Romance and Rationalism

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2007-04-16 02:14

[Note—this is a tweaking of a revision and expansion of a Free Radical editorial, penned before the founding of SOLO, updated to take into account the current furore on SOLOHQ re homosexuality. I have left in references to SOLO as "work in progress" etc., as a cute reminder of how far we've come—Linz]

In the Objectivist world-view, there is an egregious fallacy identified as "rationalism." This is not to be confused with being rational—rather it refers to the habit of divorcing rationality from reality and proceeding to "reason" on the basis of floating abstractions which are internally self-consistent but whose starting point has no connection to the real world.

Religionists of whichever variety are rationalists in that they begin with a floating abstraction, God, which has no referent in reality. Ironically, though, the lure of rationalism is one to which Objectivists over the years have been chronically and notoriously susceptible, even while grasping the error of it in theory. So pervasive was rationalism among Objectivists that the philosophy's principal exponent, Leonard Peikoff, once saw fit to deliver a series of lectures on the subject, proclaiming himself to be rationalism-prone and identifying a large number of philosophical and psychological warning signs.

Arguably, nowhere is rationalism more devastating than in the realm of romance.

Romantic love, said Ayn Rand, is one's response to one's own values embodied in the person of another. Now, this is undeniably true, and it was important that someone should say so at a time when the measure of romantic commitment was the extent to which one was prepared to sacrifice one's own values for the sake of one's partner. But it is not the whole truth. If it were, we would be obliged to become romantically involved with everyone who shared our values—a project that would have farcical repercussions.

In seeking a romantic partner, many Objectivists begin with a floating abstraction called John Galt, or Howard Roark, or Dagny Taggart—characters from Ayn Rand's novels. These characters always know their own minds, never falter, never experience fear, doubt, or confusion, never err, never belch, never break wind, never fumble when uncorking the wine. They are without flaw, failing or foible. In reality, they don't exist. But such is the power of Ayn Rand's projection of them that many Objectivists will settle for nothing less in their own lives, heedless of the fact that such "shortcomings" have been omitted from Rand’s characterisations simply because "in art, as in life, one ignores the unimportant." The consequences of this rationalistic attitude are personal misery and destruction—the very opposite of what Rand intended.

Recently, I have observed romantic rationalism in action first-hand. I have witnessed an otherwise highly intelligent, talented young Objectivist veritably destroy two consecutive, exceptional relationships in which he was involved—because of his rationalism. In each case he was in love with the other party, and it was mutual. In each case he persuaded himself that he ought not to be in love with the other party, since neither was John Galt. In each case, he fixated on the respects in which his lover was not John Galt, entered crosses on his check-list—and terminated the relationship, repressing and denying the actual love he felt. He himself described it to me as a "shovelling aside" process. I was aghast. The net outcome here was three very unhappy people. How on earth could this be reconciled with a philosophy that says, "The purpose of morality is to show you, not how to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live"?

Another Objectivist I know of has lived an equally rationalistic lie for decades, in this case denying his homosexuality, denying himself the opportunity for any real romantic fulfillment, and subverting the happiness of a succession of unsuspecting female partners—who, he had persuaded himself, were Dagny Taggart, with whom he ought to be in love, even though in truth, he wasn't.

The rationale on which such rationalistic deceit is based, when practised by anti-gay Objectivists, gay or straight, usually goes something like this: the male and female genitals are a natural fit for each other, and serve the evolutionary purpose of procreation of the species. It must be concluded, therefore, that nature has decreed that any use of the genitalia other than penile/vaginal penetration for purposes of procreation is unnatural, and therefore immoral. This is the "barnyard" view of sex so rightly decried by Ayn Rand in her attack on Pope Paul’s encyclical on birth control, except that God has been replaced by Nature as the legislator of it. According to this rationale, of course, much more than homosexuality is immoral—masturbation must be immoral, oral sex between male and female must be immoral, and sodomy between male and female must truly be the absolute pits. (The rationalists usually stop short of stating such fatuous extensions of their facile, floating "logic," for understandable reasons that have much to do with not wanting to become laughing stocks.)

Another inanity that sometimes accompanies this rationalism is the notion that a distinguishing characteristic is an entity’s only characteristic, or that all its other characteristics are informed by its distinguishing one. In other words, if man’s distinguishing characteristic is reason, the exercise of which is volitional, it must follow that all his other characteristics are chosen. Thus, for instance, volition and an innate sexual orientation (and preferences within that orientation, such as dark-skinned or fair, thick-set or slight, etc.) are deemed mutually exclusive, since man chooses his sexual orientation (just as assuredly as he chooses how many fingers he has, what colour are his eyes, etc.).

Thus do we see volition hijacked from its context and given the powers of God (omnipotence)—whereas a truly rational approach would seek to ascertain where volition’s limits lie and formulate morality accordingly. (Not for nothing was Ayn Rand a devotee of the spirit of the famous prayer, "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those I can … and the wisdom to know the difference.")

Thus does rationalism deify nature on the one hand and defy it on the other.

"Rationalism" may sound like an esoteric, irrelevant concept—in actual fact, it is as real and relevant as it is lethal. One of the reasons I am setting up SOLO—Sense of Life Objectivists (work in progress—see TFR 43)—is to provide a haven for people who are rational but not rationalistic. It will present Objectivism, as Tim Sturm observes later in this issue, "with slight adjustments & question marks where appropriate [not in defiance of, but in deference to, its fundamentals]." It will present Objectivism with more than a "slight" question mark over Ayn Rand's theory of romantic love, for reasons that should now be apparent.

Yet were she here to argue the point with me, I believe I could bring her round—and by her own dazzling lights. I believe I could demonstrate to her that she had overlooked her own distinction between a concept and a definition: the former subsumes every characteristic of an entity while the latter specifies its distinguishing one, the differentia, within the genus to which it belongs; so that while the entity man may legitimately be defined as the rational animal, the concept man takes in the totality of his being the rational animal. I would paraphrase her own paraphrasing of the bewildered question of philosophers through the centuries, "Where is the man-ness in man?" by asking her, "Where in your view of romantic love is the animality in man?"

In real life, of course, the "animality" in man is starkly manifest in his choice of romantic partner, as is his rationality (or lack of it). Rationality in this instance consists in embracing the animality (and, where appropriate, stylising it), unless it drives one to the harming of self or others. Galt forbid that it should ever be otherwise! True romance fulfils mind and body equally, to be sure. But the mind must accept, to be rational about it, that the body (the "heart," "electricity," "sexual chemistry" etc.) has reasons which, as yet at least, the mind knows not of. This is not a contradiction, nor even a concession, much less a dichotomy. It represents the most conscientious identification of, and respect for, the realities of sex and romance of which we are currently capable.


( categories: )

Leonid

sharon's picture

Abiding by Mr. Perigo’s wishes, this discussion has been moved to “The Problems with Anarchy”.

Why don’t you copy and paste your recent comments, seen here, over there where others are reading and contributing to the question of government and anarchy. I will answer it there.

Thanks.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

" Well, why can’t other men—those other people aside from the men who assumed power--do that? "

But I said already they can-by assuming power during election process. I said as well that you as anarchist not suppose to assume any power and offer any government services since Anarchism negates the very idea of government as such. So the contradiction is yours. You cannot be anarchist and government the same time . Law of Identity doesn't permit that.

Ummmmmmm

Kasper's picture

Philip has a point here.
It has occurred to me after he said it that somewhere Lindsay (our host) has asked the anarchist stuff to be taken elsewhere. Low and behold it was on this thread.

So...... We are being very rude. I apologize but

Sharon, Leonid and Jeff can we please take this elsewhere. Choose any thread dedicated to anarchism and I'll follow.

Philip

jeffrey smith's picture

Well, the medieval and renaissance used the term romance to denote fantasies of adventure, etc.

And since Sharon's DROs are a fantasy, one can say she is giving you Romance of a sort. Just not the sort you're looking for.

Sharon

jeffrey smith's picture

Now, I understand that you are a small government guy, is that correct? You do understand that all your arguments against DROs apply to your political stance, do you not? Anything you can muster in the way of a coherent argument against the DRO model can be stapled upon “small government”, but more so actually. If you disagree, I am all ears as to how “small government” is immune from corruption. If, however, you do not argue that...then why do you support a small government system?

You obviously lack the ability to comprehend what you read. Obviously another graduate of the US Public School Systems.

If you had understood what I was saying, you would know that was my exact point (expressed of course in reverse)--the exact same problems we have with government today would appear with your thrice-blessed (that a euphemism) DROs.

Anyway, if you insist that any proposed system must be without corruption as an absolute, an iron-glad guarantee as a law of nature, and that if it cannot offer this, it is therefore invalidated—then it is you, not I, that is the utopian dweller.

I'm not saying that. I'm saying that your scheme is subject to the same corruption as the present system of governments, and therefore there's no reason to adopt it. Why go through all the trouble just end up where we are now?

What I am saying is this: a given DRO (if it is rotten) does not have the same means open to it to enforce or spread its devastation to the degree and scale that a modern government does--by the fact that it does not have the exclusive monopoly on force. Plus, the DRO relies on its customer base, not pilfered funds.

Free competition is the mechanism that will tip the scale in favor of reducing the *means* to implement corruption. That is what I would say.

Again, if you had understood what I was saying, you would know that I am arguing you are flat out wrong on this--and you are not giving me any reason to change my mind on the point. You just keep asserting your assertions. You're a "dog that returns to its vomit" as much as Perigo returns to his vomit.

I'll say it one time more, and if you can't give a better response, I'm dropping the point because it's obviously hopeless to make you understand what I'm saying.

Free competition can not be relied on to keep the DROs in line because the DROS, being the mechanism that ensures the competition can take place freely, are placed exactly where they would need to be to suppress free competition against themselves. And being composed of human beings operating out of self interest, it is reasonable to expect a significant number of them to suppress competition against themselves, and for the rest to go along with it. They will become organizations that have a monopoly of force, they will operate on pilfered funds (I assume you mean taxes or the equivalent thereof).

To sum up: I don't like government, big or small, but I have never seen any scheme that doesn't have the same problems. And at least constitutional small government has formal mechanisms that offer some hope of keeping the problems at bay, unlike your thrice blessed DROs.

Damn, I keep coming back

PhilipD's picture

Damn, I keep coming back here for 'Romance' and all I get are 'DRO's."

Jeffrey

sharon's picture

"We're not talking about free will, or collectivism, or anything but this: whether or not DROs can be corrupted in the same manner as our own governments. I say they can, you say they can not, and you claim that free competition is the mechanism that will keep them from being corrupted."

No, Jeffery. That is not my contention. I do not state that DROs will not be open to corruption. What I am saying is this: a given DRO (if it is rotten) does not have the same means open to it to enforce or spread its devastation to the degree and scale that a modern government does--by the fact that it does not have the exclusive monopoly on force. Plus, the DRO relies on its customer base, not pilfered funds.

Free competition is the mechanism that will tip the scale in favor of reducing the *means* to implement corruption. That is what I would say.

Does this lift the fog at all?

Anyway, if you insist that any proposed system must be without corruption as an absolute, an iron-glad guarantee as a law of nature, and that if it cannot offer this, it is therefore invalidated—then it is you, not I, that is the utopian dweller.

Your whole argument is ridiculous. There is no such system that can guarantee a flawless paradise without conflict or corruption. It is here to stay. (In fact, that DRO system is being proposed IS the recognition of the fact of human corruption. So how am I a utopian gal?)

Now, I understand that you are a small government guy, is that correct? You do understand that all your arguments against DROs apply to your political stance, do you not? Anything you can muster in the way of a coherent argument against the DRO model can be stapled upon “small government”, but more so actually. If you disagree, I am all ears as to how “small government” is immune from corruption. If, however, you do not argue that...then why do you support a small government system?

Sharon

jeffrey smith's picture

Let me put it this way: If human nature is so corrupt, we can’t afford to have a government (not even the Jeffery Smith little tiny government) and if human nature is so angel pristine--we don’t need the government.

But this premise is not mine. Human beings have free-will. There is no original sin or original virtue. There is free-will.

Hope that makes my position clear.

As clear as a London fog circa 1900.

We're not talking about free will, or collectivism, or anything but this: whether or not DROs can be corrupted in the same manner as our own governments. I say they can, you say they can not, and you claim that free competition is the mechanism that will keep them from being corrupted.

What you refuse to understand, apparently, is that competition can not be depended on to keep the DROs from being corrupted, because it's the DROs who would keep competition in other areas of the market from being corrupted--but there is nothing to keep the DROs from suppressing competition against and among themselves. And, in fact, they will have very economic incentive to suppress competition. Sure, Joe the retired cop might set up his own DRO to compete with Big Brand DRO; but when Big Brand DRO uses every trick, both fair and foul, to run him out of town, he'll have no one to complain to--except Super Brand DRO, who will no motivation to help him, since (scratch my back, I'll scratch yours) Big Brand DRO very considerately does nothing to interfere when Super Brand DRO runs its potential competitors out business.

Who guards the guards?

There's also the point that Kasper raises obliquely: whose law will all these DROs enforce? It won't magically appear out of the ground; the nations of the world won't be gathered in twelve camps and "see the thunders and hear the lightnings" like a new Mount Sinai. So where it will come from and who will oversee its adoption?

It's this sort of thing that makes your idea not merely utopian, but positively Edenic. Unless you think that the DROs will be populated by a class of people who will, uniquely, not be corruptible, like the philosopher princes in Plato's Republic. (And at least he had the virtue of knowing his scheme was utopian.)

All the DRO scheme does is rearrange the scenery and the props, but the play remains the same. The same problems we have now with government will be found with your DROs.

Kasper

sharon's picture

"DRO's have laws unto them selves as Leonid has explained. Different areas would have different laws. The method and law placed between regions would vary - for mere incentives for the DRO's to be different and advertise certain strengths over others."

A short reply for now."

This is hardly a striking blow against anarchism and the DRO model. You seem to insist upon the erroneous conclusion that only a centralized government can implement a *rational code of morality*--which is, in essence, the nucleus of objective law. I have made it clear where I stand on the issue of philosophy as it pertains to the life of a society and the individual. I wouldn’t care to live in a society that was either anarchist (by default) or in a society with a centralized government—IF the predominate philosophy was collectivist, mystical or some other kind of rampant irrationality.

I simply do not buy your argument that a rational code of morality wouldn’t (or couldn't!) exist under an anarchist society. If that is not your position, however, then perhaps we are reaching a common ground. That is good.

The primary rules that would uniform all DROs would be the biggies: do not steal, do not commit fraud, do not murder, do not rape. In other words, do not violate the non-aggression principle. That is the philosophy from which all else comes.

The non-aggression principle is very marketable as that is what people would want. A DRO that did not address these concerns would not survive in a free-market scenario.

DRO representation would not be expensive. It would be a given, just as “the poor” have bank accounts. Again, we are speaking of the free-market. As it exists now, Kasper, a poor person doesn’t have equal access to the law courts as does a wealthy person.

Sharon.

Kasper's picture

Well I am glad that we agree on rights and founding principles for human life and prosperity.

I never associated you with Mr Billy Beck....

The meaning of freedom presupposes government. In fact for the concept of freedom to exist the relationship between the individual and the government has to be recognized. As I'm sure you know, free means free from the initiation of force from a government and from individuals.

Government versus DRO's I think is the crux of where the objectivist versus Sharon theory lies and what you are struggling against. (Right?)

My arguement: 2 parts: Freedom requires the existence of government as an organized central agency that possesses objective laws which defend the freedoms of individuals from the initiation of force.
A government can still pose a great threat to society which is why the objectivist limitations on government are so important. Everything a government does is force (Same for a DRO). "No law is a law unless it is backed by the threat of force. So long as what the government makes illegal are merely acts representing the initiation of force, it is the friend and guarantor of freedom." G Reisman. In making such acts as the initiation of force illegal it would become a force initiator in an event that violates those laws. It then would be held accountable. (We have already discussed by whom previously)

The practicalities in government which I don't think would be that easy in a DRO system are simple to explain.

Objective laws which apply to everyone in the country.
1) Everybody is equal under the law regarding treatment and accountability.
2) The government is a transparent agency totally accountable to its representatives - the citizens of a country.
3) The government which sits on a body of laws including those that limit its functions is accountable to those laws by independent and government owned law agencies, courts, media, etc.
4) The public servants which is both the government and those who work for the government serve the entire country indifferent to race, demographics or geographical place. That is: If shit hits the fan anywhere you can approach a police officer and be confident that you will receive help.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DRO's have laws unto them selves as Leonid has explained. Different areas would have different laws. The method and law placed between regions would vary - for mere incentives for the DRO's to be different and advertise certain strengths over others. If you are poor, got raped, you don't get equal rights to your life as a rich person does, in a time of disruption. You may need legal aid and an enforcement agency may need to spend lots of money and resources to hunt the rapist down. Can't pay for that when your cost of living as a poor person is 98% of your salary.

Jeffrey

sharon's picture

"You are either willfully ignorant or completely insensible to the point that I'm making..."

I was just thinking the same thing about you, honey. ;]

"...To assert otherwise is to rely on faith--in particular, faith that people won't act like they do now; that human nature will be totally inclined to good. And that will happen only when the Messiah comes--and you don't believe in the coming of the Messiah, do you?"

If I believed in this last item in your post, I wouldn’t speak of DROs in the first place, right? Man-oh-man. See, I would be too busy talking about Eden. But I’m not doing that. No, I'm not.

Let me put it this way: If human nature is so corrupt, we can’t afford to have a government (not even the Jeffery Smith little tiny government) and if human nature is so angel pristine--we don’t need the government.

But this premise is not mine. Human beings have free-will. There is no original sin or original virtue. There is free-will.

Hope that makes my position clear.

Sharon

jeffrey smith's picture

You are either willfully ignorant or completely insensible to the point that I'm making:
Your DROs would be just as open to corruption as the current system of governments, and there is nothing to keep them from becoming corrupt.

They would be the policing mechanism of the free market. When someone uses coercion they would intervene and set things right.
But when they use coercion, there would be nothing to intervene and set things right. Especially if the DROs operate as a good ol' boy/good ol' girl network. If a group of DROs decide to stamp out new competition in their area, there is nothing anyone will be able to do about it. And since the wielding of power attracts people who like power, you can be sure the DROs will attract the same sort of people who nowadays go into the mafia or the police.

Your scheme depends on the premise that the DROs will actually abide by the rules even when it's not in their self interest and they can get away with breaking the rules. That defies common sense and experience.

To assert otherwise is to rely on faith--in particular, faith that people won't act like they do now; that human nature will be totally inclined to good. And that will happen only when the Messiah comes--and you don't believe in the coming of the Messiah, do you?

Re: private roads

Aaron's picture

Me: "violators perhaps having violation fees, being banned from access for serious recklessness, etc."

Leonid: "Fees imposed by whom? Collected how? On what authority? And who decides how much to pay for each and every violation?" ... "However in my opinion violation of traffic regulations should be punished only in the case when it caused damage or injury to the second or third part. For the rest of the cases, I'm sure, insurance companies can take good care on them. If insurance declines claim on the ground of violation it will have much more dettering effect that current system of fines which is nothing more that State money racket."

In part, you answered your own questions. On the rest, I have to assume you are arguing against an anarchist presentation, which I explicitly said already is not I'm not advocating. Given a legal framework to enforce contract law, your questions concerning privatization of roads are no more meaningful than "Bank overdraft fees? Credit card late fees? Collected how? On what authority? And who decides how much to pay, etc. etc."

Aaron

So.. how:

gregster's picture

Your DROs become a cumbersome impractical version of a proper governance.

Your anarchist utopia (in which you have stated previously that men wish to live harmoniously, while also asserting that governments are always motively evil), is pure Marxism in that it does not allow for man's differing abilities and/or beliefs.

Without objective standards of justice it is brutality.

It relies on the utopian view that individuals will hardly ever disagree, and there need not be a reliable mechanism to maintain CIVILISATION.

gregster

sharon's picture

"He tends to speak sense against your inherent anarchist-collectivist folly."

Inherent anarchist-collectivist folly. Interesting. You have never argued why that is so. You have merely asserted it. A very different thing. So...how so?

Probably not

gregster's picture

but I can't be sure because I didn't read it fully. He tends to speak sense against your inherent anarchist-collectivist folly.

Sharia Love

gregster's picture

I'll definitely forgive you if you answer well enough.

Jeffrey

sharon's picture

One more thought:

Your philosophical premises are now transparent, honey. Your own language reveals you. You are, basically, collectivist leaning. I think any Objectivist here, with their philosophical detective hats on, can see this as I do.

Would you agree, Gregster, if you have read Jeffery here?

Ms Sharia

gregster's picture

It appears that my last questions on 'Going Galt' bring too many difficulties for you to attempt answering.

Jeffrey

sharon's picture

Jeffery, do you actually believe in half the shit you write? I’m sorry to sound so blunt, honey, but it is a serious question.

”It's pointing out what's wrong with your idea. You can't deal with the central problem of your DRO ideal--that the DROs are just as open to corruption as the formal institutions we have today.”

This is the best that you can do—the guy that can out snob Mr. Perigo on music trivia? So what if it is “open to corruption” as a hypothesis? It is not guaranteed to dish up corruption as the current paradigm establishes. DROs ARE a radical and logical alternative to the inherent evil of modern governments. Morality, dear sir, is always practical. Let’s not forget the thrust of my philosophical center when debating with me, honey.

"You think the "free market" provides the answer, with no more evidence to believe it will work than my coworker has when she believes that Jesus will solve all her problems when she lays them down before him in prayer".

The proven efficacy of the free-market does not require faith. It is a fundamental principle and applies to any market. It is an established fact that it caters to the nature and survival of man. It’s called freedom, honey, as opposed to slavery and collectivism, proven killers. Free-market…freedom. Repeat after me.

"Competition only works when competition is allowed."

Honey, an anarchist society will “allow competition.” Hello, that is what anarchism is about, in part. Like DUH.

“The DROs, being the mechanism in you scheme that will make sure competition is allowed, are thus uniquely placed--because there is nothing that can make sure the DROs compete”.

Competition is a by-product of a free-market, and freedom is the core. (Free-market…break it down, honey). Of course the DROs will compete. And they will also co-operate. That’s what businesses of all varieties now do. And what the hell do you mean "make sure to compete" when it comes to this question? Is that a function you allote to government, to make sure that bussiness compete?! Eeeek, sounds big government.

“And human nature being what it will, we can be sure that a non trivial number of those DROs will do whatever they can to suppress competition against themselves”.

By what MEANS will any DRO have to implement any corrupt and ill-will aspirations? What means does a government have to implement corrupt aspirations? Why, every means—it has a monopolization on the use of force!

”Inventing a scheme and calling it something other than "government" does not do away with the problem.”

It is not a “scheme”; it is a moral and logical application to the non-aggression principle. It is something other than “government.”

“The mafiosi that are in government today will simply migrate to the DROs of the Ideal Anarchist Future, and we'll rapidly find out that the Future is not very ideal, nor very anarchist.”

You got this from Jesus, didn’t you?

Sharon

jeffrey smith's picture

(Let’s try to avoid the Jeffery Smith double-jointed pretzel semantic quarrel over the word “government”; you now know what I mean).

It's not a semantic quarrel.
It's pointing out what's wrong with your idea. You can't deal with the central problem of your DRO ideal--that the DROs are just as open to corruption as the formal institutions we have today.
You think the "free market" provides the answer, with no more evidence to believe it will work than my coworker has when she believes that Jesus will solve all her problems when she lays them down before him in prayer. Competition only works when competition is allowed. The DROs, being the mechanism in you scheme that will make sure competition is allowed, are thus uniquely placed--because there is nothing that can make sure the DROs compete. And human nature being what it will, we can be sure that a non trivial number of those DROs will do whatever they can to suppress competition against themselves.
Inventing a scheme and calling it something other than "government" does not do away with the problem. And you haven't done away with the problem--only given it a new body to play parasite upon. The mafiosi that are in government today will simply migrate to the DROs of the Ideal Anarchist Future, and we'll rapidly find out that the Future is not very ideal, nor very anarchist.

Leonid

sharon's picture

The contradiction is yours, honey. You are ascribing a set of moral properties to a small nucleolus of human beings—an aggregate from an entire population—and denying it to the rest? How were those human beings endowed with such a stewardship, such a privilege to rule --and NOT others? Yeah, yeah, a government of laws, not men. Well, why can’t other men—those other people aside from the men who assumed power--do that? Why? Do you see the contradiction now? Do ya, huh, huh?

Kasper

sharon's picture

“The right to life and liberty are necessary rights for human life to live and prosper. They are objective rights which have to apply for every individual in a country.

"For everybody to be equal under the law and to have the same rights you need what you term a 'monopolistic' law enforcement agency namely the government.”

I most certainly agree that life and liberty are necessary rights for human life and prosperity and all of that good stuff. If you have really been paying attention, you know that I am a passionate advocate of freedom. I think it is finally dawning on SOLO members (those who are engaged in these talks) that I am not Billy Beck—that I am not the caricature of a hippie dippie subjectivist who equities freedom from a government as freedom from the facts of reality. I have a moral argument to make, and one that I believe to be truly consistent and rational. This much is clear, am I correct?

We equally agree that rights, life and prosperity is the order of the day, but to conclude that a monopolistic use of force to protect these values as a must does not logically follow, it is a mammoth non-sequitur.

“This is the only way to get consistency about, how one is charged, to what degree, what type of fees or sentencing one gets, etc. DRO's simply can make up any law they like and as I have said before could be very quickly placed in a position of prostituting away basic rights in order to achieve peace amongst a majority.”

You see, I find this incredibly fascinating. Your fear of DROs becoming something other than what their defined purpose is—that is exactly what should properly be feared in governments. And when I say “governments”—I mean *the state*, a monopoly on force. (Let’s try to avoid the Jeffery Smith double-jointed pretzel semantic quarrel over the word “government”; you now know what I mean).

No, the whole point of DROs as Dispute Resolution Organizations (besides it obvious functions contained in its title) is to defang corruption, to release it of any means to devastate a country let alone its customer base. When you place entire power—the exclusive monopoly of force to a small aggregate of men—you are placing the apple in the garden. Absolute power corrupts. This is academic, not a theory. I am an empiricist, honey, and all of history—all of its ten thousand years—shows in blood soaked illustration what happens when a handful of men assume power. Philosophy can define a country as it can define a man, and if the philosophy is corrupt it doesn’t matter if it is an anarchist society or one with a centralized government, the result is going to be ugly. But I will say this: even if the philosophy is basically good and the intentions are pure as the driven snow, absolute power will erode whatever founding principles put in place. The apple has been presented, the means of corruption were given. It didn’t take long for the undoing to take place with the founding of the United States. Look were we are today. Poof—all so soon.

“If governments step outside of those we can appeal, protest, cut funding or call for a snap election. Your idea of governments that have a monopoly on force are unstoppable is simply false. Governments get stopped all the time. Society stops legislations, reviews current laws and even stops future plans in their tracks.”

I see no evidence of this. All I see is one set of Mafia leaders replace another. As I have said, it doesn’t matter who you vote for—the government always gets in. Governments do come and go, but they do so by either being overthrown or they collapse from the weight of their own evil.

p.s

Leonid is not a stupid man. He has ideological blinkers on. He is a fiercely loyal Objectivist who straddles between two things--one eye on Objectivist ideology and the other on reality and Objectivism is winning. He is a good Objectivist. Loyal and steadfast. Rand said governments are necessary—and boom—that is it. Case closed.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Why not? The "government" did."

The idea of government exludes the idea of anarchism and vice versa. That's amazing you want to have both- like proverbal cake you eat and keep. Anarchist, who provides government services is contradiction in terms and joke of the year. That means you don't understand both government and Anarchism.

Leonid

sharon's picture

"But here is one small problem-anarchist cannot be government or offer the same services. "

Why not? The "government" did.

Explain away the double-standard and contradiction.

Sharon

Kasper's picture

The right to life and liberty are necessary rights for human life to live and prosper. They are objective rights which have to apply for every individual in a country.
For everybody to be equal under the law and to have the same rights you need what you term a 'monopolistic' law enforcement agency namely the government. This is the only way to get consistency about, how one is charged, to what degree, what type of fees or sentencing one gets, etc. DRO's simply can make up any law they like and as I have said before could be very quickly placed in a position of prostituting away basic rights in order to achieve peace amongst a majority.

Governments should have a monopoly on force when they are placed to protect the rights of individuals. We limit government by law and constitutions. If governments step outside of those we can appeal, protest, cut funding or call for a snap election. Your idea of governments that have a monopoly on force are unstoppable is simply false. Governments get stopped all the time. Society stops legislations, reviews current laws and even stops future plans in their tracks. The government has party's which are there to represent society. They all must work by a code of ethics which means they are there to represent their facet of society which voted them in and within the parameters set out by a constitution, bill of rights or international human right laws.

PS: Leonid is far from stupid Sharon and you know it.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"I and anyone else are free to compete and offer the same services that a government does?"
Sure you can, by all means. Why didn't you put your candidacy for the last American elections? You could've been the government instead Obama. Don't miss the next one. But here is one small problem-anarchist cannot be government or offer the same services. So make up your mind.

Aaron

Leonid's picture

"violators perhaps having violation fees, being banned from access for serious recklessness, etc."
Fees imposed by whom? Collected how? On what authority? And who decides how much to pay for each and every violation? Only legal process based on objective legislation can answer these questions. And what if violater claims that he didn't commit any violation? To whom he can turn for justice if there aren't any laws or courts? And what if he just doesn't want to pay anything? Who can force him or ban him if there is no law enforcement agency which acts according to objective laws. Justice cannot be divided and contract law in order to have any meaning also has to be enforced. However in my opinion violation of traffic regulations should be punished only in the case when it caused damage or injury to the second or third part. For the rest of the cases, I'm sure, insurance companies can take good care on them. If insurance declines claim on the ground of violation it will have much more dettering effect that current system of fines which is nothing more that State money racket.

Leonid...Market Anarchist?

sharon's picture

"There is no monopoly on government. Governments ( or rather ideas how to govern) do compete. That what elections for."

There is no monopoly on government? Oh, then I and anyone else are free to compete and offer the same services that a government does? Maybe we’re finally making progress in these talks. Good! Smiling

Leonid- You: "In my country,

Aaron's picture

Leonid-
You: "In my country, for exaple, people drive on the left side and this is arbitrary rule. What would happen if some people will decide to drive on the right side?"
Me: "The 'what if company X and company Y have people drive on opposite sides of the road?!' ignores the incredible economic incentive road owners would have to standardize amongst themselves."
You: "That wasn't my question. My question was: how the owner of the road will enforce laws of traffic without to coerce people who refuse to obey these laws in anarchist society which has no laws, nor law enforcement agencies?"

It sounded like that was your question, but OK. Traffic regulation enforcement on privatized roads would properly be a contractual issue between customers/subscribers and the owners/operators - with violators perhaps having violation fees, being banned from access for serious recklessness, etc. I could see deferring over to criminal law enforcement for the outright criminal cases (e.g. vehicular homicide, a banned person willfully trespassing on the roads), though most of what we think of as traffic laws now - speeding, rolling through a stop sign, and so on, driving on the wrong side of the road, wouldn't need to go further than contract law. I'm not concerned with the anarchist case that doesn't have the law enforcement step beyond that.

Aaron

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Standard Objectivist bone head perception "

Why Objectivist? That you who defined government as aggregate of people with free will. This is definition of your DRO, not Objectivist government. Such an aggregate can do with you whatever it pleases. Objectivism defines government as a rule of Law. You don't have to shoot yourself in the foot.

There is no monopoly on government. Governments ( or rather ideas how to govern) do compete. That what elections for.

"What have I evaded?"-every single question including the last one.

"Typical anarchist

sharon's picture

"Typical anarchist statement. Rule of people instead rule of Law."

Standard Objectivist bone head perception that regards anarchy as jungle law.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"I just wanted to ask you if your government has any place in society to regulate people’s love lives."

I don't answer stupid questions.

"A government is nothing other than an aggregate of individuals who possess free-will."

Typical anarchist statement. Rule of people instead rule of Law.

Leonid

sharon's picture

Since this thread is about romance, I just wanted to ask you if your government has any place in society to regulate people’s love lives. Social engineer who marries who and what sexual practices they are to engage in and how many children to have or if they are to have them. That sort of thing. Why not, you don’t want anarchy, do you?

To blame the government for

sharon's picture

To blame the government for crimes is like to blame the gun for murder. Government as a gun is a tool, it can kill, it can protect, depends who uses it and for what.

This is an unbelievably stupid argument. A gun is an inanimate object, people are not. A government is nothing other than an aggregate of individuals who possess free-will.

What have I evaded? I have answered the questions you ask, but you just have a habit of asking the same questions again….different words, perhaps, same questions.

Silly little man with silly little garden-variety 'arguements' against anarchism.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"You truly are a funny little man. That’s Leonid for you, always arguing the pragmatic case from effect, not morally."

And when I ever argued with you, such a big and smart women with such an enormous capacity for evasion? I just asked you few frank questions and hoped to get honest answers which you are constantly evading to give. Here one of them which I asked before. I repeat it in such a form that it give to you the chance to understand it and even, maybe, to answer. " The owner can ban anybody he wishes, just as a bar owner can ban a customer who is disruptive." Suppose you own a bar and as an owner you prohibit smocking. I come in and light up. What you do? Throw me away. Right! But suppose I'm not alone but with a company of skinhead bodybuilders , who are as big as you are. Normaly, one calls the cops, but you trust free market and call your private security. We call for back up and you can take it from there. What will left from your private property in the end is up to you to figure out. And even if your private security will manage to apprehand us, what they are going to do next? Can they try us in the court of Law? In your society there aren't any courts or laws. Can they make us to pay you for damages? By what means? Can they isolate us from society as sociopaths? For how long, according to which law and who should decide about it? Can they just kill us ? That they can do as any savage in prehistoric age did. Now invert the situation and pretend that you are the smocker and I'm the bar owner. Would you like it? Cannot you see that your anarchistic idea first and foremost eleminates the principle of justice. Without it no society could exist. Please understand, Miss (or Mrs) Anarchist, that use of force and free market are incompatible as Objectivism and Anarchism. Free market uses the mind, stupid. Use of force should be under restriction of Law, legislation, which is government. And this is strictly for moral reason- to protect your natural rights. To blame the government for crimes is like to blame the gun for murder. Government as a gun is a tool, it can kill, it can protect, depends who uses it and for what. In Obectivist society it will be the tool of protection. That concludes my argument. I just don't have anything to add on this topic.

Ah, yes, the conundrum of

sharon's picture

Ah, yes, the conundrum of private roads—it has baffled philosophers for centuries. That’s Leonid for you, always arguing the pragmatic case from effect, not morally.

Well, let’s take it from the moral standpoint: Owner's house, owner's rules. Owner's road, owner's rules. Get it? It’s very simple.

The owner can ban anybody he wishes, just as a bar owner can ban a customer who is disruptive. However, there is no way to keep a road profitable without meeting custumer's demands, which in this case would be low costs, quality and a cooperative and integrated regulation along with other road owners. Really, have a little more trust in the free-market, Mr. Objectivist. LOL

You truly are a funny little man. And not too bright. I don’t consider people too smart if they believe that in order to protect us against people who might steal our property by force--we must give an organization the MANDATORY RIGHT to steal our property by force. I also don't consider those so bright who believe that monopolies are the most terrible quality in business....but *the most crucial for quality in government*

LOL. LOL.

Aaron

Leonid's picture

"The 'what if company X and company Y have people drive on opposite sides of the road?!' ignores the incredible economic incentive road owners would have to standardize amongst themselves."

That wasn't my question. My question was: how the owner of the road will enforce laws of traffic without to coerce people who refuse to obey these laws in anarchist society which has no laws, nor law enforcement agencies?

Aaron

sharon's picture

"It is surprising to hear an Objectivist using roads as an example where government ownership or regulation is needed."

Yeah, go figure. LOL

Leonid isn’t interested in discovering any truth or rationality of the matter---he wanted to win the argument, no matter what.

Despite Objectivist minarchy (and its contradictions) many Objectivists can at least, occasionally, ride down the road less traveled.

Roads

Aaron's picture

It is surprising to hear an Objectivist using roads as an example where government ownership or regulation is needed. The 'what if company X and company Y have people drive on opposite sides of the road?!' ignores the incredible economic incentive road owners would have to standardize amongst themselves. And this kind of large-scale private standardization is hardly unfamiliar in industries, even including the closely related railroads where initially competing, differing rail gauges, switching, couplers, etc. migrated to agreed upon standards. Rothbard and other libertarians have good writings concerning practical applications of laissez-faire to roads, and despite some of their personal anarchism the ideas in this realm are equally applicable to Objectivist minarchy.

Aaron

Sharon

Leonid's picture

Please take it elsewhere, this is your subject, and, yes, you may have as many last words as you wish. I'm quite happy with the last words I get at home which are "Yes, dear."

Leonid

sharon's picture

Mr. Perigo didn’t intend you to get the last word on the subject he asked us to take elsewhere.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

That you who decided to re-start the topic again, but instead of discussion you just reffer to your previous posts. That also you who claimed before that rules mean coercion and therefore are incompatible with true Anarchism. And nowhere in your posts you sufficiently explained how you propose to implement these rules without coercion of the people who don't recognize the need of the rational code of conduct. I never claimed that government should put a cop to each and every citizen. The function of government in this particular sad case you described is to find and apprehend alleged criminals, to prove that they are guilty of the crime ascribed to them by means of objective investigation in the court of Law, and ,if they are found guilty, to isolate them from society. The government also should make them to pay for the damage they inflicted-for example medical bills, loss of income and so on. By doing so government will restore justice and protect its citizens.
"but there would not a centralized agency called the “government”-so, instead of one government you propose to create countless governments in each and every neighbourhood which is bureaucrats' idea of paradise. And who's going to do creative work? Also the possibility of abuse will multiply countlessly. And which difference will be between government A, B, C.... if all of them act according to the same rational code of conduct?
"History shows the results"-with publication of "Atlas shrugged" the current 2000+ years history of abuse came to the end. We are living in transitional period. In objectivist society government will be very different institution.

I support Mr. Perigo demand. We became rude. Please start new thread if you still interested to discuss this topic.

Guys

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Can you continue the anarchism debate on one of the many anarchism threads? Ta!

Leonid

sharon's picture

Again, the anarchist philosophy I ascribe to would not be without objectivity in ethics, a rational code of conduct, and that society would not be without rules of conduct, but there would not a centralized agency called the “government” that held the exclusive monopoly on force. No man, or group of men, are able to handle such immense power effectively and are, as history shows, when exposed to such power, become corrupted. History shows the results…the current crises shows the results.

If you are at all interested, there is tons of material you can read regarding individualistic anarchism. You have this little habit of raising the same objections over and over again (“civil war” and “might makes right”) that I have answered before. Now, I don’t mind answering questions, but just not the same ones over and over and over and over again. Go to the internet—it is all there.

>"There is such a thing as self-protection "-are you for real? I'd like to see you protecting yourself against group-rape..."<

As for gang rape, a friend of mine was raped at a high school in the parking lot, and no government was there to stop it. Sad, these things happen anyway, whatever the society.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"There is such a thing as self-protection "-are you for real? I'd like to see you protecting yourself against group-rape, armed robber, suicide bomber or foreign invasion. And even if you somehow managed to protect yourself, in the lawless society you simply create situation in which might is right and there is always somebody around with the bigger club or gun. More important, in the lawless society how you are going to protect yourself from the false accusation? I suppose you'll turn to DRO. If DROs act according to objective laws and regulations, if they can employ force in order to remove criminals from society, if they can provide fair try in the cort of Law and restore justice, if they can employ defence forces-than they are government by everything but name. Such DROs will need basic Law (constitution), system of legislation, legal system including courts of appeal , executive system and Law enforcment agencies. Now please tell me what all this has to do with Anarchism? If they not-they will not protect you. They will have to act on whim and by doing so they'll negate the very principle of natural rights.

Leonid

sharon's picture

"And who will protect you in your anarchistic Utopia from abuse?"

It has all been answered before. There is such a thing as self-protection and I have explained about DROs.

As it stands now, the government does not protect you from violent crimes—they step in after the fact. An anarchist society would not be without rules or consequences for crimes…actual crimes; not made up victimless crimes that a government concocts to justify itself so that it can say “See, there is so much crime, and we are here to protect you, Mr. and Mrs. Citizen."

Sharon

Leonid's picture

Now you are changing the topic. But even if you are right and all governments commit crime in spite all restrictions imposed by the Law and Constitution, you want to give to the crime free reign by removing these restrictions. In the free or even semi-free society government abuse is not a rule but rather an exception and every body who feels that government abuses him/her at least can turn to the legal system for protection. And who will protect you in your anarchistic Utopia from abuse?

LOL

sharon's picture

"And , yes, some governments do commit crimes, but that doesn't answer my question."

Ok, the gripping issue of gravel and pavement aside. You say “some” governments commit crimes? Some? Oh, do tell me which ones haven’t…ever. THIS I must hear!

Sharon

Leonid's picture

Even on private roads traffic should be regulated. In my country, for exaple, people drive on the left side and this is arbitrary rule. What would happen if some people will decide to drive on the right side? Total chaos-private road or not. If, in addition, they will skip red lights, overtake against traffic rules and so on then the owner of this road very soon will become undertaker which is bad for business. Ayn Rand "laundry list" first and foremost includes people's protection from criminals and from outside aggression. So road safety is in. And , yes, some governments do commit crimes, but that doesn't answer my question.

What about the poor...what about the roads...what about the....

sharon's picture

"Never mind criminals, how you are going to regulate traffic?!"

Um, hello, Leoind? Hello? Ayn Rand advocated private roads as well. If you look at her laundry list of a “government’s proper function” she does not include the roads. They are to be privately owed.

More later on the issue of violent crimes…of which the government is the largest perpetrator.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"I have answered (and refuted) this lame and tired argument before, and here at SOLO, by much more articulate people than yourself."
Really? Then maybe you can answer to the less articulate person like myself how you going to deal with thief, robber, rapist, hired killer or fraud on strictly voluntary basis, without laws or rules? Never mind criminals, how you are going to regulate traffic?! BTW, you analogy with naked man has nothing to do with this case. Naked man, unlike criminal, doesn't force himself on others; if you don't want to deal with him he goes away. Criminals don't need your consent in order to deal with you, they just use force. I am yet to meet so called anarcho-capitalist who will be able logically to reconcile the principle of property rights with lawless society. To paraphrase you: scratch any anarchist of any persuasion and you will find the beard of Marx and Engels.

Jeffrey

Leonid's picture

Well, where are 2 Jews, there are 3 opinions. Shulchan Aruch is essentially commentary on Talmud, its practical application to the matter of every day life. I'd agree that vast majority of observing Jews don't practice oral and anal sex but it is not forbidden, at least not by Talmud which is still highest authority in religious matters.

"Yes, anarcho-capitalists

sharon's picture

"Yes, anarcho-capitalists differ from anarcho-socialists in regard to property rights but they share with them Marxist view on the nature of State as it clearly indicated in your post. Both view government as tool of opression, not protection."

Marx and Engels were not the intellectual fathers of anarchism as a whole. The English leveller movement preceded marx centuries before, and added greatly to anarchist thought, both collectivistic and individualistic, by disparaging the lords control over untransformed land, demanding the right of homestead, and the right to keep the fruits of their labor from the land. Another case in point is Frederick Bastiat. He came from a wholly different tradition of thought (a French one) and his intellectual successor Gustave who published "The Production of Security" implied the anarcho-capitalist position.

I am yet to meet a so-called anarcho-communist who could logically explain a social world without property.

Leonid

jeffrey smith's picture

It's a good deal more complicated than that. (And the Shulchan Aruch was written about twelve centuries after the closing of the Talmud.) The Talmud doesn't get overruled--it just gets explained away or explained around, just like the modern US courts do to the US Constitution.

And the halacha that you brought is accepted by many Jews, but increasingly the halacha that I brought is accepted by ultra-Orthodox/Orthodox Jews of the fundamentalist persuasion. There is not unified halacha in this area.

Monty Python indeed! The

sharon's picture

Monty Python indeed!

The divine right of Kings, the social contract, the consent of the governed—all nice little fairy tales. LOL

That scene is hilarious.

Leonid

sharon's picture

"No matter how strong argument for property rights could be, without protection from initiation of force this argument is worthless. Use of force for retaliation outside of legal framework means rule of mobe, lynch, and , well...anarchy."

Round and round we go. I have answered (and refuted) this lame and tired argument before, and here at SOLO, by much more articulate people than yourself.

You're all wrong...

Jmaurone's picture

Now, come see the violence inherent in the system...

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Anything other than complete voluntarism involves some form of coercion which case they become the rulers, i.e., the government."
Chomsky didn't discover Marxists roots of anarchism. This is common knowledge which is open to everybody who ever bothered to read Marx or Engels.
Yes, anarcho-capitalists differ from anarcho-socialists in regard to property rights but they share with them Marxist view on the nature of State as it clearly indicated in your post. Both view government as tool of opression, not protection. No matter how strong argument for property rights could be, without protection from initiation of force this argument is worthless. Use of force for retaliation outside of legal framework means rule of mobe, lynch, and , well...anarchy.

Jeffrrey

Leonid's picture

Halacha is commonly accepted rabbinical Law which is based on Talmud. Shulchan Aruch is part of Talmud and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is brief version of it, that is-halachot without explanation, sort of manual for people who want to live according to Jewish Law, but not interested to study it. Shulchan Aruch cannot overrule Talmud by definition

Leonid

sharon's picture

Chomsky refutes "libertarian" "anarcho"- capitalism

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

Yes, double-speak-garbled words and concepts in today’s politics came from a long line of thinkers, starting with Marx and Engles. I think you are the only Objectivist who argues along the lines of Chomsky. Well, congratulations.

I think Chomsky’s version of anarchism is preposterous. It is not real anarchism at all. Anarchism means no rulers. Anything other than complete voluntarism involves some form of coercion which case they become the rulers, i.e., the government. When Chomsky uses the term “anarchism” he is strictly referring to anarcho socialism which is a political movement that also rejects private property and "exploitation", that good ol’ boogeyman word that socialists love to use—and which can be applied to almost every transaction.

Chomsky states that he is a Libertarian Socialist and tries to explain away the apparent contradiction. This is also true of other intellectuals of his ilk, and it is a pitiful sight to see you swallowing their arguments to make the case for government. Chomsky would applaud you.

By the way, anarcho-capitalists (like me) have done a very thorough job of establishing a sound argument for property rights. Eye

Kosher sex

jeffrey smith's picture

"Although some sources take a more narrow view

The sources that take a more narrow view are the more predominant version now. It's not the only thing where the Orthodox have overruled the Talmud.

If you have a serious need of the details, a good source is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, by a rabbi named Ganzfried, in which you will learn not only what the only way to have sex is, but also a myriad of other invaluabel mandates, such as the proper order for tying one's shoelaces, and which is one of the models for this parody, the Hilchot Christmas/Laws of Xmas-- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/...

2. REGARDING A CHILD WHOSE BIRTHDAY OCCURS ON OR AROUND XMAS, SOME
SAY TO GIVE HIM A DOUBLE PORTION OF GIFTS,(23) AND OTHERS SAY TO GIVE
HIM A SINGLE PORTION.(24) SOME RESOLVE THIS BY GETTING HIM A NORMAL
NUMBER OF GIFTS, BUT THEY WOULD BE DOUBLE IN SIZE OR VALUE.(25)

(23) Which may cause others to feel cheated.
(24) Which will surely cause him to feel cheated.
(25) Another idea has been to celebrate "Xmas in August". See Rabbi
Edward's opinion below, in section 9:2.

Kosher sex

Leonid's picture

"Good joke, but not actually a correct presentation of Orthodox Jewish teachings--which equate oral and anal sex to horribly perverted acts and define the old fashioned man on top, woman on bottom, facing each other as the only position that is really acceptable. But it has to be done in the dark, in complete privacy, etc. or else it's lewd."

Sorry, Jeffrey, but you are simply wrong.

"Although some sources take a more narrow view, the general view of halakhah (Jewish rabbinical law) is that any sexual conduct that does not regularly involve ejaculation outside the vagina is permissible. As one passage in the Talmud states, "a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife". In fact, there are passages in the Talmud that encourage foreplay to arouse the woman, and oral and anal sex are permitted (though not necessarily desirable), if they are not to the exclusion of vaginal sex."

Read the full article about kosher sex.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/je...

On Anarchism and fried ice

Leonid's picture

“In political science, the term "communism" is sometimes used to refer to communist states, a form of government in which the state operates under a one-party system and declares allegiance to Marxism-Leninism or a derivative thereof, even if the party does not actually claim that it has already developed communism.”

Sharon, you are big clever women, so be kind and next time when you quote please indicate your source, otherwise small silly men may think that you made it up. To the matter of fact: Marx and Engels were first anarchists. They considered State as tool of oppression of the working masses and thought that with advance of Communism State will wither away.
"As the state arose from the need to hold class antagonisms in check, but as it arose, at the same time, in the midst of these classes, it is, as a rule, the state of the most powerful, economically dominant class, which, through the medium of the stat e, becomes also the politically dominant class, and thus acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class. Thus, the state of antiquity was above all the state of slave owners for the purpose of holding down the slaves, as the feudal state was the organ of the nobility for holding down the peasant serfs and bondsmen, and the modern representative state is an instrument of exploitation of wage labour by capital." (Engels, Origin, p. 283.)

According to Marx, it (communism) would involve both the elimination of the state system and private property and the creation of a classless, stateless, propertyless, moneyless, religionless, nationless (no national conflicts), non-exploitive, and self-governing society
“Marx and Lenin” http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/fat...
“The dictatorship of the proletariat is not a state in the proper sense of the term. It is the proletariat organized as the ruling class. Unlike other states in history, whose role was to enable minorities to suppress majorities, the dictatorship of the proletariat is the instrument of the vast majority to suppress the tiny exploiting minority; its establishment represents victory in the battle for democracy.
The main tasks of the dictatorship are to expropriate the capitalists (those whose property has not already been nationalized), suppress capitalist resistance, and develop the nationalized means of production as rapidly as possible in order to over come relative scarcity and shorten the workday, thus allowing all workers to participate in the affairs of society.
As these tasks are fulfilled, the state will wither away.” The Marxist theory of State by Ron Tabor
http://www.spunk.org/library/p...

Engels’ conclusion, for all practical purposes his last word on the question, was:
". . . the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another. and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy; and at best an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy, whose worst sides the victorious proletariat, just like the Commune, cannot avoid having to lop off at once as much as possible until such time as a generation reared in new, free social conditions is able to throw the entire lumber of the state on the scrap heap."
Marx and Engels on the State and Society by Ernie Haberkern

This is not an incident that first anarchists were socialists who adopted Marxist theory of State...” The anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility.”(Encyclopedia Britannica)
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Ana...
Bakunin, for example described himself as collectivist-anarchist
Kropotkin wrote “ It is only today that the ideal of a society where each governs himself according to his own will (which is evidently a result of the social influences borne by each) is affirmed in its economic, political and moral aspects at one and the same time, and that this ideal presents itself based on the necessity of Communism, imposed on our modern societies by the eminently social character of our present production”( Anarchism, its philosophy and Ideal by Peter Kropotkin)
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Ana...

Would you also call founder fathers of Anarchism “crack pot intellectuals”? Actually, if you would, you will be right on the money.

The “anarcho-capitalists” who hijacked the idea of anarchism from socialists still share with them the view on State as a tool of oppression. They failed to see the role of State in protection of natural rights. Even your ability to write your diatribes against State is firmly secured by the State. State protects your right to own computer, which otherwise would be taken from you by the first occasional burglar, State enables the function of Internet by endorsing net of very complex business contracts, State protects Mr. Perigo's intellectual rights to own SOLO PASSION etc...etc...etc...Marx and Engels understood that the only society which could exist without State is society without property rights (and therefore without any rights) which is Communism. Anarchism denies State as protector of rights and therefore denies rights as such. And this is the whole shabby secret of so called anarcho-capitalism-which is Marxism in disguise and contradiction in terms. Anarcho-capitalism is fried ice indeed. I could carry on with many other citations from many different anarchist sources but I know that this would be in vain. You are as big as your capacity of evasion, which is astonish-for you whatever you disagree with, is simply doesn't exists.

In the interests of returning this thread to the topic of sex

jeffrey smith's picture

They ask " And what about sex, what is permitted?"
Rabbi " Every thing"
They : "What, on the back?"
Rabbi "Yes"
They " and on the side?"
Rabbi "Yes"
"And what about oral sex?"
"Permitted"
" Anal penetration?"
Rabbi" Whatever you want. The only position which is forbidden is standing position."
They: " Why ?"
Rabbi : "Could become dance."

Good joke, but not actually a correct presentation of Orthodox Jewish teachings--which equate oral and anal sex to horribly perverted acts and define the old fashioned man on top, woman on bottom, facing each other as the only position that is really acceptable. But it has to be done in the dark, in complete privacy, etc. or else it's lewd.
And that's not taking into account the laws of "family purity" or niddah, whereby the married couple can't directly touch each other for the two weeks that begin with the monthly menstrual flow.

There are some things that are so absurd that they can be mistaken for parodies of themselves, and Orthodox Jewish teachings on this are a good example.

Leonid

sharon's picture

So you offered another quote from a crack-pot intellectual who still 'fried ice" contradicts himself. No, you continue it on another thread.

edit:

"Anarchist communism advocates the abolition of the state, private property and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production."

And:

“Communism is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general. In political science, the term "communism" is sometimes used to refer to communist states, a form of government in which the state operates under a one-party system and declares allegiance to Marxism-Leninism or a derivative thereof, even if the party does not actually claim that it has already developed communism.

Hey, Leonid, psssft, take note of the fact that communism is a *form of government* and that anarchism is—even according to the link you provided—the “abolishment of the state”.

Now try to reconcile that. Just because you have a strong emotional reaction against something doesn’t mean you get to toss whatever negative concepts around hoping something will stick.

You are a silly little man.

Ha, Leonid!

gregster's picture

"I'm not in the the mood to fight today. Besides, unlike you, I don't have unlimited supply of the straw."

You've identified her MO.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

I'm not in the the mood to fight today. Besides, unlike you, I don't have unlimited supply of the straw. In regard to Anarchist socialism read that:
" It must be remembered that in their younger days Proudhon and Karl Marx were friends and agreed up to a certain point, where Marx declared the remedy to be to put all social functions under the government, and Proudhon affirmed that government itself, with its privileges and monopolies and invasions of liberty, was the enemy. In those days both called themselves socialists and Marx called himself a Communist, as witness his famous "Manifesto". Indeed Anarchists still claim to be socialists, a name which the Social-Democrats have no right, they say, to monopolize. All men are socialists, they claim, who are working for the world as it should be, against those who are contented or are contending for the world as it is. They call themselves, sometimes, Free-Socialists, as opposed to what they call State-Socialists - that is, those who would create socialism thru political action...But I believe that Anarchism and Socialism are both needed in human society - that they represent two strong trends in human psychology - the trend toward liberty and individual variation, and the trend toward cooperation, sympathy and solidarity, and that therefore they should work together. Socialism greatly needs Anarchism as a critic and to keep it from sacrificing the individual and his originality to the domination of the mass. And I have tried, tho I confess with no appreciable success, to effect a compromise, which would permit the essential Anarchist principles of Individual Secession and Autonomy of the Group to be guaranteed under Socialism, claiming that if this were done in the Socialistic Constitution and Platforms, the Anarchists would have no logical ground for keeping out of the Party, which would thus gain a multitude of votes - without sacrificing its own principles. Simply an alliance to win, with division of territory and autonomy of method after the conquest of government and the capitalist defeat. "

Anarchist Socialism. By John William Lloyd which was leading American Anarcho-socialist
http://www.wendymcelroy.com/bl...

You can also check this site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

After that we can continue this discussion on some other thread and to talk about fried ice.

I remember reading a an

sharon's picture

I remember reading an article once that started with:

“With the outbreak of the First World War, a number of revolutionary socialists, including anarchists and syndicalists, came together to form the International Socialist League.”

Anarchist socialist?

This is akin to "theist atheist" or "fried ice."

Fight the straw men, Leonid, I'll bring this conversation somewhere else.

Back to romance.

P.S.

Article was "Anarchism & the 'new' South Africa"

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"What function would the government have in regards to immigration in the Objectivist view?"

Didn't we agree we are not going to hijack this thread? Start new thread if you whish and we can discuss that. I'm already living in anarchist society, South Africa, so I'm very sensitive to the issue of hijacks-which is daily experience in my country.

Leonid

sharon's picture

That is just a rehash regarding the issue of violent crimes in an anarchist society. You don't bring anything new to the table with that crack.

What function would the government have in regards to immigration in the Objectivist view? It would be an interesting question to explore. I would like to see if it fits in with Rand’s view of a government’s function, or else find out what a self styled Objectivist would concoct.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

" Immigration indeed—more government infringement of rights. "

Well, I'll just move in. I suppose there is no border control or customs. Can I bring small portable nuclear devise? See you there.

Could become dance

Leonid's picture

"The rationale on which such rationalistic deceit is based, when practised by anti-gay Objectivists, gay or straight, usually goes something like this: the male and female genitals are a natural fit for each other, and serve the evolutionary purpose of procreation of the species. It must be concluded, therefore, that nature has decreed that any use of the genitalia other than penile/vaginal penetration for purposes of procreation is unnatural, and therefore immoral. "

The Rabbi explains to the newly wed couple about Jewish sexual live: " You know, Jewish religion is strange. For example even married couple cannot dance together"

They ask " And what about sex, what is permitted?"
Rabbi " Every thing"
They : "What, on the back?"
Rabbi "Yes"
They " and on the side?"
Rabbi "Yes"
"And what about oral sex?"
"Permitted"
" Anal penetration?"
Rabbi" Whatever you want. The only position which is forbidden is standing position."
They: " Why ?"
Rabbi : "Could become dance."

"In regard to the

sharon's picture

"In regard to the government's question: we discussed it before. If and when you'll manage to create your anarchistic Utopia I'd be the first to apply for immigration ( the only question-to whom?)"

Well, let’s not highjack Mr. Perigo’s thread here. But I will say this: I suppose you aren’t one of Rand’s freaks, and as such you are an advocate of freedom. Too bad that you don’t understand, that in an anarchist society, nobody would have the right to tell you if and when you could move to that region. Immigration indeed—more government infringement of rights.

My point stands.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"They are rationalistic--and they would contest to their last breath that they are, thank you, Objectivists,"
Big deal!. Once I've met such an Objectivist on the Net who claimed that John Galt, Ayn Rand and he himself are different reincarnations of Lord Krishna . After spending some time with him I understood that I don't have appropriate skills to render to him professional help. Since then I don't bother anymore about Rand's freaks and I don't know why you or Mr. Perigo should. In regard to the government's question: we discussed it before. If and when you'll manage to create your anarchistic Utopia I'd be the first to apply for immigration ( the only question-to whom?)

Leonid

sharon's picture

>>"rationalistsic Objectivists"-what a strange conjuction of words, like fried ice. You mean they are Objectivists who deny objective reality by means of rationalization and deny existence of values by considering them as floating abstraction? Cannot you find any better name for them?<<

They are rationalistic--and they would contest to their last breath that they are, thank you, Objectivists, if you dared dispute it—just as they would claim that they are pro-freedom and yet support the whole retarded contradiction that is government.

Lindsay

Leonid's picture

"rationalistsic Objectivists"-what a strange conjuction of words, like fried ice. You mean they are Objectivists who deny objective reality by means of rationalization and deny existence of values by considering them as floating abstraction? Cannot you find any better name for them?

Jmaurone

Leonid's picture

There are many possibilities. Dagny looked back and turned to the pillar of salt. (Somebody already wrote about that somewhere if I'm not mistaken). Galt gave her a parachute and jumped without it; in his free fall he's seizing parachute from the bad guy ( say Dagny's brother) and so on and so far... Feel free to develope these ideas and send them to "Liongate" -they are struggeling to make "Atlas shrugged" movie for a lo-o-o-ong time... BTW. I'm biased too, since I'm smoker, caffeine addict and often forget to put back the toothpaste cup. And for chemical warfare...well .."to fart is human, to ignore it is divine"

Leonid ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's a floating abstraction for them as rationalistic Objectivists. That context is set up in the preceding paras. Best you read the article! Eye

Knock Knock

Jmaurone's picture

"One of the SOLO's members once said that he has wet dreams about Ayn Rand and i see nothing wrong with it."

I do, but then, I'm biased. Eye

Of course, I see your point, Leonid. If only my relationship problems were at the level of hogging the blankets, kissing with coffee breath*, leaving off the toothpaste cap, or chemical warfare...

*Cigarrette breath is where I draw the line. OUT!

Lindsay

Leonid's picture

I don't object to the notion that Rand's characters are abstractions. I object to their definition as floating abstraction as you said "many Objectivists begin with a floating abstraction called John Galt, or Howard Roark, or Dagny Taggart—characters from Ayn Rand's novels." If they are ,then all values they represent don't exist in the real life.

Jmaurone

Leonid's picture

I'm also joking. The fantasy is good for all of us. One of the SOLO's members once said that he has wet dreams about Ayn Rand and i see nothing wrong with it. But if some Objectivists cannot distinguish between reality, dreams and fiction they are Objectivists only by name.

The dangers of quoting out of context:

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Here is the full paragraph:

n seeking a romantic partner, many Objectivists begin with a floating abstraction called John Galt, or Howard Roark, or Dagny Taggart—characters from Ayn Rand's novels. These characters always know their own minds, never falter, never experience fear, doubt, or confusion, never err, never belch, never break wind, never fumble when uncorking the wine. They are without flaw, failing or foible. In reality, they don't exist. But such is the power of Ayn Rand's projection of them that many Objectivists will settle for nothing less in their own lives, heedless of the fact that such "shortcomings" have been omitted from Rand’s characterisations simply because "in art, as in life, one ignores the unimportant." The consequences of this rationalistic attitude are personal misery and destruction—the very opposite of what Rand intended.

Lenoid

Jmaurone's picture

It's a joke, Leonid. Now, pull my finger...

I might not get to ride in the plane from NY to Galt's Gulch, but Dagny did. Could you imagine if Galt let one rip and Dagny "looked back?" Or if Dagny let one out and Galt gave her a parachute? Definitely would be a different novel...

Jmaurone

Leonid's picture

I'm sure you adult enough to know the difference between real life and fiction. If you think you can stuck in the car with fictional hero then you apparently still dreaming about " Last action hero" movie.

Hot air...

Jmaurone's picture

I'd like to meet the Objectivist hero who never belches or farts...talk about a mind/body dichotomy.

It's not an important characteristic, of course...until one is stuck in a car ride with one, at least...it's a long ride to Colorado...Evil

Sharon, Perigo

Leonid's picture

I don't agree with definition of Rand's characters as floated abstractions which have no connection with reality like gods or lepricons. They are heroes of romantic fiction, Rand's projection of what people's main values and attitudes could and should be. Unlike naturalistic heroes they "never belch, never break wind, never fumble when uncorking the wine." because that is not important in their characterization. They are abstraction, all right, but not floated abstraction. By defining them as such you implicate that there is no such a thing in the real life as honesty, integrity, creativity, rationality, productivity, justice. Rand's heroes are personalization of all these values. If you think they are floated abstractions then you negate all values.

reality check: fictional characters are just that.

sharon's picture

"In seeking a romantic partner, many Objectivists begin with a floating abstraction called John Galt, or Howard Roark, or Dagny Taggart—characters from Ayn Rand's novels. These characters always know their own minds, never falter, never experience fear, doubt, or confusion, never err, never belch, never break wind, never fumble when uncorking the wine. They are without flaw, failing or foible. In reality, they don't exist. But such is the power of Ayn Rand's projection of them that many Objectivists will settle for nothing less in their own lives, heedless of the fact that such "shortcomings" have been omitted from Rand’s characterisations simply because "in art, as in life, one ignores the unimportant." The consequences of this rationalistic attitude are personal misery and destruction—the very opposite of what Rand intended."

This paragraph says it all. I agree with Mr. Perigo here, if not much else. I am mature enough to give credit where I think it is due. This insight, in my view, is spot on. This is exactly the problem with too many Objectivists who are drenched in floating ideology that is divorced from the real world and people who are not at all fictional.

Romantic love and rationalism

Leonid's picture

"I have witnessed an otherwise highly intelligent, talented young Objectivist veritably destroy two consecutive, exceptional relationships in which he was involved—because of his rationalism."

This and other examples reminds me old Russian proverb : " Ask the fool to pray-he will break his head (by making bows)" Romantic love is first and foremost a emotional response, that is, authomatic value-judgment. "The "heart," "electricity," "sexual chemistry" etc" are expressions to describe this authomatic, subconscious response.If the above mentioned Objectivist responded to his partner's values with love and his subconscious value-judgment is indeed based on internalized ideas of Objectivism, then why he destroed his relationships? If , however, he decided that his response wasn't appropriate , then he Objectivist only by name, in other words he's living in the constant state of war with himself, he's neurotic. In both cases he doesn't understand Objectivism, the philosophy of living, not just talking.

Monart Firehammer and Regi Pon

Lindsay Perigo's picture

These two are indeed unreconstructed homophobes. Regi's book on the subject was the proximate cause of Sciabarra's and my colluding to produce a counter, which eventually took the form of Chris' monograph. Monart took to warning Diana she should have nothing to do with me. I'm sure she now concurs! Smiling

Another prize specimen of homophobia is Stalinist Stolyarov. He put up a piece on Regi's site enjoining the evil sodomites to renounce their depraved ways. It was hilarious. Straight out of the Old Testament. Smiling

Linz

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.