Why Is It Evil That's Motivated?

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2008-07-04 10:28

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

— Edmund Burke

"Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation; evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us."

— Ayn Rand

"I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it."

— Ayn Rand

"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles."

— Ayn Rand

************

Going on air at short notice for a three-hour stint the other morning, I had a most remarkable experience on two levels.

First, unbeknown to me in advance, Radio Live had a give-away lined up for the show: the new “Definitive Collection” CD featuring Mario Lanza—one CD per hour, with me and my panel operator Attila (yes, that’s really his name!) making the judgment between us as to which caller had most merited it. I was blown away by the outpouring of love for Mario which went way beyond any desire to pick up a free CD. In recent years on radio I’ve presided over give-aways for Andrea Bocelli, Russell Watson, the Three Tenors and any number of contemporary musicians from other genres, including some I regard as thoroughly evil; for none of them have I experienced such heartfelt adoration from caller after caller as I heard the other morning ... for someone who’s been dead for nearly fifty years! Decades of headbanging caterwauling, not to mention the deadly homogenisation of serious singing, have not, it seems, dimmed the incomparable dazzle of Mario’s star in the slightest. It was as though listeners had been waiting for several long, lean years for just this moment, and unleashed their pent-up love in a protracted, Whitmanesque YAWP!

Second, my pro-liberty message resonated with listeners in a way I’d not encountered before, not even in the heady days of the Politically Incorrect Show. Normally on Radio Live I have to do endless, soul-destroying battle with socialists, Greens and sundry other types of moral and intellectual retard. What I heard the other morning were people—finally!—mad as hell and not going to take it any more. “It” being the Nanny State abuses that have robbed the present government of any legitimacy and would justify an armed revolt. Callers didn’t even protest when I insisted that our problems arose not from too little democracy but from too much ... as opposed to actual liberty. Something seemed to have changed dramatically for the better from the last time I had been on air.

Clearly I didn’t just imagine this. As I’ve already reported here, one listener e-mailed me as follows:

Brilliant to hear you on Radio Live this morning.....sadly I am another [first name], and after all the [same first names] you had ringing in this morning, I did not have the nerve to add to the list. Enjoyed your programme and it is absolutely refreshing to hear someone who says it as it is. The rubbish that this communist govt is promoting regards to global warming etc is killing the country and at present they are like kamakaze pilots taking NZers with them. One of your callers said she cannot believe that her friends have lost their independence and do not see it the same way as she does. Well I for one am part of the silent majority who support her. I cannot express strongly enough my absolute abhorance [sic] of this nanny state and its dictator, perhaps it is because I hate being told what to do. I have been around a long time and I cannot believe what has happened to NZers. All this bloody PC nonsense....why don't we have an uprising??? I can tell you I would be a starter for it. Just wanted to tell you to keep up the good work.....cheers....

Nik Haden, on the libertyloop, reported:

Another day in NZ and more govt induced chaos The one bright moment was my joyous surprise hearing Linz on the radio this morning. I tried for 40 minutes to ring through but he was just too popular. Many callers expressed frustration at the lack of any real alternatives to vote for. We know there is great option and it is now time to let more people know.

All very encouraging. Perhaps this election will see Libertarianz take a giant leap forward as folk finally give meaningful form to their pent-up love of their birthright, the right to live their lives as they, not the statist busybodies, see fit.

But a nagging doubt assails me. My e-mailer asked, “Why don’t we have an uprising?”

Unfortunately, the answer is, still: because nobody would bother turning up for it.

We saw truckies out in force yesterday protesting against a sudden, punitive increase in the road-user charges levied on them by this vile government. Fair enough. Yet how many of them really understand that roads should be privately owned and operated and users should pay for their use? How many would put their livelihoods on the line and man the barricades for those truths?

Much more broadly, how many people who observe evil are prepared, when push comes to shove, to do anything about it? How many who purport to believe in the good have it within themselves to become the slightest bit passionate about it? Why do good people allow the best within them to become pent-up and mute while highly-motivated evil observes no such constraints and gallops forward with obscene impunity? Why is it evil that’s high-octane and good that couldn’t “give a shit”? Even within Objectivism, which has quite a bit to say about good and evil, thousands remain mute while James Valliant almost single-handedly takes on scum for whom few things are more important than demolishing heroes in general and demonstrating that Ayn Rand was not a hero in particular.

James himself proffers “sanction of the victim” to the obscenely mute because they’re ARI, and thus beyond reproach.

Like hell they are!

Observe that the greatest tenacity on this very board is demonstrated by the very lowest of the scum who leave the supposedly “good” folk here for dead, with few exceptions, in their commitment to what they believe in.

Behold the folk who know better but do nothing in Scott DeSalvo’s link here ... and treat them as a metaphor for our age.

Evil is motivated; good is indifferent.

If “Original Sin” means anything, it’s that. Apathy is endemic, and militant evil rampages into the vacuum.

On air the other day I felt a trick was being played on me. I was sure that at any moment someone would call and cackle that Slayer, not Mario, ruled; that Helen (Clark), not Ayn, ruled also; that I had been spirited off to a better universe for the precise purpose of teaching and taunting me that the worse one was the real one.

Moreover, I’m still convinced that had there been such a caller, he would have been right.

For until reason learns to be passionate, unreason will rule.


( categories: )

No, they wouldn't turn up for it....

PhilipD's picture

 

But a nagging doubt assails me. My e-mailer asked, “Why don’t we have an uprising?”

"Unfortunately, the answer is, still: because nobody would bother turning up for it."

 

Some would be at home, in front of their computers, making smart-arse posts about quote sources whilst ignoring the essence of the topic.

While evil just gets on with it...

 

"The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools."

-Herbert Spencer 

Wikiquote

Ptgymatic's picture

There is a discussion of the problem of attributing that quote to Burke at Wikiquote.

It's a great saying, no matter its source.

--Mindy

Linz

seddon's picture

Do you have a source for the Burke quotation. I found the following at http://tartarus.org/~martin/es.... The author writes the following:

Perhaps by now you can guess the answer I am going to give.

There is no original. The quote is bogus, and Burke never said it. It is a pseudo-quote, and corresponds to real quotes in the same way that urban legends about the ghost hitch-hiker vanishing in the back of the car and alligators in the sewers correspond to true news stories.

This at least is my assertion, and I base it upon the following,

1) I cannot find a reference for the quote in my own Dictionary of Quotations, or in any of those consulted in my local city library, or at http://www.bartleby.com/100/, or in any other online Dictionary of Quotations I have consulted.

2) If it were genuine, it would have one, or possibly two, noteworthy variants at most. For example, Milton’s line,
Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new
is frequently misquoted as
Tomorrow to fresh fields and pastures new
But the line does not, could not, exist in hundreds of different forms. Furthermore, after a little thought, you can usually see a plausible reason for a misquotation. In Milton’s line he was echoing older poets where woods were a part of pastoral life, but they are rare enough now for ‘fields and pastures’ to seem like a more natural description of the English countryside. There is nothing in the pseudo-Burke quote that can explain the endless variation of forms.

3) If it were genuine, it would be easily traceable. For any quote this common, reference to an encyclopaedia, dictionary of quotations, or the internet will usually reveal the source quickly. Furthermore great quotes (and this is supposed to be one), come usually from great works, which are again readily accessible, and are often on the internet in machine readable form as E-texts. The few Burke E-texts I have downloaded do not contain the quote. Even if this quote were from a minor work (the corner of one of Burke’s laundry lists for example), its fame would make the containing work famous and we would be able to find it. The fact that none of the thousands of web pages that give the quote cite a source is, for me, conclusive evidence that it is an invention.

But if anyone can trace this quote back to the authentic writings of Edmund Burke, email your findings to martin@tartarus.org, and I will remove this web page forthwith.

Thanks,

Fred

Why so Serious?

Jmaurone's picture

 

"We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" He answers; "No we never had to."

"That's some of the worst bullshit she ever wrote, Olivia."

  

I couldn't find the quote at the time of the original post, but I thought it appropriate to let Rand herself defend her line, from the Q AND A book:

  (Question): "...you voiced a strongly pessimistic view of the future. How can you you say you're glad to be old, when one of the most important concepts of Objectivism is that irrationality must never be taken seriously?"

Rand: "What in hell gave you that impression? ...the only passage that I can imagine gave you this impression–and if so, makes me angrier, and hurt-is Dagny's line to Galt: 'We never had to take any of it seriously.' That's one of the most beautiful passages in my novel qua fiction. But it is light-years away from 'Irrationality is never to be taken seriously.'"

 "I've written that one problem with Americans is that they don't believe in the reality of evil. You better take evil and irrationality seriously: not in the sense of regarding it as important-not in the sense of letting it determine the course of your life or your choice of career or other key values-but in the sense of not evading its existence. You should do everything in your power (though not at the price of self-sacrifice) to counteract evil and irrationality, which requires taking it seriously. But that is not the meaning of this line from ATLAS SHRUGGED."

I'm assuming that would apply to "but I don't think of you" as well... 

 

 

 

Oui...

Olivia's picture

Lord De Salvo... rhetorical they were. But you're definitely onto something... or maybe on something.

Um, alot?

atlascott's picture

Blanking out.

Olivia's picture

Suppose you could spend five minutes with Anne Frank's ghost, Olivia. Is that what you would tell her?

How many people closed their eyes to how many absurdities coming out of Germany as Hitler was gaining and taking power? How many people are doing the same thing in the face of Islamofascism today?

"...nested forms of deception..."

Peter Cresswell's picture

"...nested forms of deception..."

That's the best working definition of pomo-wank I've seen for a while.

Its relevance to the present topic however escapes me, unless Mr Campbell is saying he's so slippery he even fools himself..

Oh, Really?

Billy Beck's picture

"In reality evil can't actually exist unless you make room for it."

Suppose you could spend five minutes with Anne Frank's ghost, Olivia. Is that what you would tell her?

A correction

Robert Campbell's picture

In my description of Mr. Valliant's opus, I meant to say:

as Mr. Valliant wants everyone to believe but doesn't want anyone to believe that he wants everyone to believe.

One must choose one's words carefully, when trying to describe nested forms of deception.

Robert Campbell

"We never had to take any of

Olivia's picture

"We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" He answers; "No we never had to."
[That's some of the worst bullshit she ever wrote, Olivia.]

On the contrary Billy. I think it is her profoundest insight.

In reality evil can't actually exist unless you make room for it.

Brilliant post below about the revolution, Robert W. Absolutely razor sharp!

It is impossible to place a constitutional ring fence around something as large as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's why the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Eternity is a long time. When can you make time to enjoy your own finite time on this planet if you are spending all of it watching every predator in government robes?

What sort of life is that? Again, I'd be defining my life in terms of them.

Disappointed I've been kept

Lance's picture

Disappointed I've been kept out of the loop on this Lance. Can I come too, I know Tae Kwon Do? Smiling
Psssh, it's a well known fact that you are a reptilian shape-shifter Mitch and not to be trusted. You AND Marcus!

"I have the ropes,

Mitch's picture

grappling hook, ski masks, and blueprints of TAS head office that you requested Linz, should I pass them on or send them straight to James? Also please stop signing off your emails by actually typing out "Muahahahahahaha" it's unnecessary, I already know you are an evil mastermind!"

Disappointed I've been kept out of the loop on this Lance. Can I come too, I know Tae Kwon Do? :) 

Ha, Ha! Agreed. I was not at

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Ha, Ha! Agreed. I was not at Atlas and the World, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Jim

"Agressive"!

Peter Cresswell's picture

Aggressive!? What will the neighbours think?

300 people? Isn't it about quality, not quantity? If the likes of Campbell can be considered a luminary ...

Tapping into China and India however -- that's been long overdue for someone to do.

Peter C, I would largely

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Peter C,

I would largely agree with your points about many of Robert's posts here, but reports of TAS's impending demise are greatly exaggerated. They had 300 some people at Atlas and the World and somewhat over 150 for the Summer Seminar. That's held steady since 2005.

They are planning to have a aggressive web presence and try to grow internationally in China and India. That's part of the reason they are going quarterly with TNI.

Jim

20 percent of a race oppose violently any betterment activity

KevinOwen's picture

There are certain characteristics and mental attitudes which cause about 20 percent of a race to oppose violently any betterment activity or group.

Such people are known to have antisocial tendencies.

When the legal or political structure of a country becomes such as to favor such personalities in positions of trust, then all the civilizing organizations of the country become suppressed and a barbarism of criminality and economic duress ensues.

Crime and criminal acts are perpetrated by antisocial personalities. Inmates of institutions commonly trace their state back to contact with such personalities.

A relatively small proportion of a race, about 20 percent, possess antisocial characteristics. They cause trouble for the remaining 80 percent out of proportion to their number.

Thus, in the fields of government, police activities and mental health, to name a few, we see that it is important to be able to detect and isolate this personality type so as to protect society and individuals from the destructive consequences attendant upon letting such have free rein to injure others.

I

gregster's picture

wish I could reach for a "f-off" button.

I have the ropes, grappling

Lance's picture

I have the ropes, grappling hook, ski masks, and blueprints of TAS head office that you requested Linz, should I pass them on or send them straight to James? Also please stop signing off your emails by actually typing out "Muahahahahahaha" it's unnecessary, I already know you are an evil mastermind!

Me neither!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Switch off and miss the conspiracy plots? Not me.

Nor !! How else am I supposed to find out what I'm up to?

What?

PhilipD's picture

 Switch off and miss the conspiracy plots? Not me.;)

 

 "The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools."

-Herbert Spencer 

Indeed!

Robert's picture

Count mine as a votes for PC's motion.

It seems that you may win your wager PC.

Why do so few join in on

Mark Hubbard's picture

Why do so few join in on those threads in which you're present, Mr Campbell? Because nobody, apart from your victim, could keep up with your single-mindedly baseless obsessions expressed so deadeningly, and so interminably.

Don't mistake silence on those threads for support for your sleazy nitpicking and inexorably blind myopia.


I'll wager ninety-nine percent of people with a real life see any post with your name above it and immediately reach for the 'off' button.

 

 Yes! Amen to that.

Don't mistake silence for lack of support

Peter Cresswell's picture

I was amused by the way Mr Campbell concluded this response, since he essentially summarised what I've learned about him from reading many of his posts -- which, I hasten to add, is all I care to know about him, and which explains the so-called lack of support for James Valliant from which Mr Campbell draws so much squalid comfort.

Mr Campbell may be many things -- verbose, hectoring, interminable, illogical, arrogant, boneheaded, sleazy, obsessed, embittered, conspiratorial -- all of which epithets he either slings or evinces in his flatulent, myopic and frequently long-winded rants -- he may be many things, but rational sure as hell ain't one of 'em.

Why do so few join in on those threads in which you're present, Mr Campbell? Because nobody, apart from your victim, could keep up with your single-mindedly baseless obsessions expressed so deadeningly, and so interminably.

Don't mistake silence on those threads for support for your sleazy nitpicking and inexorably blind myopia.

I'll wager ninety-nine percent of people with a real life see any post with your name above it and immediately reach for the 'off' button.

Want to know one of the reasons that TOC is dying, as Bill Perry mentions in his post about the latest OCON? Simple. Because people like you are considered luminaries by people like them.

First, get your judgments straight

Robert Campbell's picture

Lindsay Perigo's blog entry on highly motivated evil hasn't provoked much of anything, except mutual recriminations.

Which shouldn't surprise anyone.

Mr. Perigo's own judgments of good and evil are so off-kilter that he equates passivity in the face of tyrannical rulers with... failing to get exercised by words and deeds that wound Mr. Perigo's vanity.

Hence a blast at the present government of New Zealand wanders off into statements like this:

Even within Objectivism, which has quite a bit to say about good and evil, thousands remain mute while James Valliant almost single-handedly takes on scum for whom few things are more important than demolishing heroes in general and demonstrating that Ayn Rand was not a hero in particular.

James himself proffers “sanction of the victim” to the obscenely mute because they’re ARI, and thus beyond reproach.

Like hell they are!

Observe that the greatest tenacity on this very board is demonstrated by the very lowest of the scum who leave the supposedly “good” folk here for dead, with few exceptions, in their commitment to what they believe in.

There is a much simpler hypothesis to explain the lack of support for Mr. Valliant on this board.

First, he wrote a lousy book, full of poor scholarship, misleading presentations of opposing positions, and attempts to hector his readers into agreeing that passages in Ayn Rand's journals don't mean what they obviously do mean.

Second, third, fourth, and so on interminably, he has put forward "defenses" of his book that further undermine its credibility with any sensible person.

After all of Mr. Valliant's leaps of illogic, bursts of ill-considered arrogance, and outbreaks of Valliantquoating® and Valliantciting®, what's amazing is that he has any supporters left at all.

Meanwhile, I doubt that any of Mr. Valliant's critics either denies the existence of heroes, or seeks to demolish any hero candidate who steps forward with a credible case.

Ayn Rand was heroic.

It does not follow that she was morally perfect—as Mr. Valliant wants everyone to believe but doesn't want everyone to believe that he wants everyone to believe.

She did her heroic acts without being perfect. Acknowledging that beats religious veneration for her any day — just as objectivity beats subjectivity any day.

And there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that if Mr. Perigo shouts loudly enough about the perfection of Ayn Rand, some of that perfection will rub off on him.

It certainly hasn't so far.

Nor should the present lack of public support for Mr. Valliant among the ARI-affiliated be so difficult to fathom. It has begun to dawn upon many of them, even those who are personally inclined to venerate Ayn Rand religiously, that Mr. Valliant is doing them more harm than good, by making them all look like boneheads and sleaze artists.

Mr. Perigo might accomplish more, were he to start making relevant distinctions.

Any system of moral judgments according to whom all of Mr. Perigo's critics in Rand-land are as evil as Barbara Branden who is as evil as a member of NAMBLA who is as evil as any politician in the Democratic Party in the United States who is as evil as Immanuel Kant who is as evil as Helen Clark who is as evil as some lead singer in a death-metal band who is as evil as Robert Mugabe who is as evil as some Left-leaning professor who is as evil as Chairman Mao ... can only end up as a confused mess.

Completely disproportionate moral judgment can be a number of things, but rational ain't one of 'em.

Robert Campbell

Why Evil Seems Motivated

Ptgymatic's picture

I have two points to make.

First is that "evil" may seem "motivated" since little (except passive aggression?) will count as an observation of "evil's" being a slacker! We mainly denote actions as "evil" and actions are--active!

If "evil" is tied to people, then I think you will find that they are motivated by desperation. They have mucked up their lives, they have little or no genuine self-respect, they have poor prospects for actually living, in the sense that a life is an active endeavor to build knowledge and abilities and amass "capital goods." The only thing left them is some kind of parasitism. Since our self-interest opposes being fed on by a parasite, they have to work hard, create smoke and mirrors, engineer whole scams, create "fronts," etc., to survive.

The immense psychological need for self-respect is, in such people, turned to controlling or impressing, etc. other people. From other people, from applause, from their name in the paper, from attending meetings, etc., they derive a substitute--though false--psychological visibility that is, nonetheless, better than nothing. The need for capital goods is turned from production to some kind of looting. In both cases, obviously, other people are the main focus of their lives.

   The second point I want to make is that what keeps fairly good people from standing up, from showing up, and speaking up, is fear. Action entails consequences. Unwise action naturally brings undesirable consequences--and where men are concerned, even good actions can stimulate undesirable consequences.

   To the unthinking person, who lacks wide knowledge and reliable judgment, following the herd is the only option. Only by being intellectually alive and intact can a person afford to be, and dare to be independent.

Thinking people are hard to control, so from childhood on, we are dissuaded from using our minds. In school, kids are presented with incomprehensible materials that make them think there is something wrong with their thinking ability. If they disagree with parents or teachers--then, with bosses or spouses, or with Billy, etc., it is not their opinion that is opposed, but their daring to think, to judge for themselves, to question authority.

All manner of abuse falls on the individual who won't "go with the flow" or who "rocks the boat," etc. So all the goodness in people is saddled with the intense doubts of confusion and ignorance, because they lack a sound philosophy to refer to, and because their education has been a farce, and it--their inarticulate goodness--is intimidated by the probable opposition, and possible abuse, speaking up can arouse.

 

 

How Low To Go?

Billy Beck's picture

A reading:

"Among our many lost values there is one more: the high worth of those people who spoke and wrote Russian before us. It is odd that they are almost undescribed in our prerevolutionary literature. Only very rarely do we feel their breath - from Marina Tsvetayeva, or from 'Mother Mariya' (in her 'Recollections of Blok'). They saw too much to settle on any one thing. They reached toward the sublime too fervently to stand firmly on the earth. Before societies fall, just such a stratum of wise, thinking people emerges, people who are that and nothing more. And how they were laughed at! How they were mocked! As though they stuck in the craw of people whose deeds and actions were single-minded and narrow-minded. And the only nickname they were christened with was 'rot'. Because these people were a flower that bloomed too soon and breathed too delicate a fragrance. And so they were mowed down.

These people were particularly helpless in their personal lives: they could neither bend with the wind, nor pretend, nor get by; every word declared an opinion, a passion, a protest. And it was just such people the mowing machine cut down, just such people the chaff-cutter shredded."

(Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: "The Gulag Archipelago", Vol. I, pp. 188-189.)

~~~~~

I submit, ladies and gentlemen, that this poor bastard is on his way to not making it.

It should not be a big deal that he's seeing what he sees, although it is sadly true that that's remarkable enough. It just never hits the backs of most peoples' eyeballs as they wander around all day long. The really big deal is that it is there for him to observe at all, and more: he's absolutely right in his conclusions on the prospects.

You could judge for yourselves whether the guy is charged more with despair or "passion" or whatever else, but I wouldn't call it "apathy" or "indifference".

What I really wonder: how low will he have to duck in order to keep dodging all the various shredders blades, and; why, where, when and how should he ever stand up at all?

It's Serious, Alright

Billy Beck's picture

"We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" He answers; "No we never had to."

That's some of the worst bullshit she ever wrote, Olivia.

Billy.

Olivia's picture

You don’t have to “tell me anything” Billy, you did already.

I see everybody and their brother congratulating America's birthday. I'm fucking disgusted.

Yet America's birth was a genuinely GREAT event.

.... the idea that was born in my country will never die.

Exactly. It is this great idea that is celebrated... so refrain from pissing all over it.

I don't celebrate anymore: haven't in a long damned time. I shoot guns in the back yard on that day. I have a seventy-five yard range for my SKS: I punch 7.62mm holes in engine blocks. To hell with beers and barbecues. I take this stuff a lot more seriously than that.

In AS, remember when Dagny arrives in Galt's Gulch and as she looks up to see for the first time the way John faces existence, she whispers the words; "We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" He answers; "No we never had to."

It is my own goal to keep fuelled enough, materially and spiritually, to be able to achieve all the good things I want in my life, without all the extraneous shit dictating my state of happiness. Life is not fair, never has been, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone on this board that you have to fight for what you want... it's always been that way. I think the trick is to enjoy the fight since it is part of the reality of being alive. We are born into systems not of our making. We either reform them or live with them - those are our only options. In my experience, constant rage usually stems from a feeling of powerlessness to do either.

Every man has his limit I understand and you truly may have reached yours, but when rage is your only response, I would say that you need to check your premises.

"The purpose of morality is to teach you not how to suffer and die, but how to enjoy yourself and live."

Now that ain't a quote from a mouthy dilettante. Eye

I counsel coherence

Peter Cresswell's picture

I'm still unclear what precisely was the point Mr William J. Beck III was trying to make here, or why it required the thread hijack on which he embarked, but it seems that on one point at least I was wrong.

William J. Beck III isn't an example of how apathy delivers the world to evil, but a lesson in how incoherent rage is impotent in the face of evil, or of anything else.

Firing at engine blocks and allies is about as dumb a response to a fucked up world as I've seen -- a perfect picture of all that incoherent rage can achieve. Destruction.

Incoherent rage at the fucked up state of the world is understandable, and useful as fuel, but incoherence itself never bought anything but frustration. In Lou Reed's words, "You're stuck with yourself and a rage that can hurt you," but unless you harness all that rage in a coherent fashion you'll never ever get started remaking the world in a way that will make you less angry, and the world more right.

Rage is good. Passion is good. But for goodness' sake use it properly, man. There's more to life than rage, pain, anger and hurt.

As Uncle Lou concludes:
"When the past makes you laugh and you can savor the magic
that let you survive your own war
You find that that fire is passion
and there's a door up ahead not a wall."

PC

Billy

Kasper's picture

"Okay, fine then: I'm a lot more interested in whether I could respect you"

What does this mean? You come onto this site, raging and bloating out expletive's and then tell me that I need to do some homework on you or appeal to you for respect?
A) Your respect does not interest me
B) Your in the dog box. It is YOU that needs to generate the respect around here, from the tantrum that you threw, even when people granted you good faith trying to appeal for understanding.
I feel insulted that you shat on some very good people here and that you have the cheek to demand my respectability. This is absolutely absurd.
Well done for actually engaging with Olivia into a discussion. Perhaps we can see more of this?

We...

Robert's picture

... is people who think as I do, want to effect change, and realize that we need to recruit others in order to effect real change.

By your own militant admissions that doesn't include you so I don't gives a toss what you think or even if you think.

And speaking in the broadest terms possible, the sentinel equates to governments of the Western civilization.

Thus to your second contention: Having had something to do with electing governments, in a country that counts itself as part of Western civilization, I am partly to blame. So you are wrong again it seems. Or maybe I reversed your meaning. Hard to tell because you're too busy trying to be 'cool' & 'hip.'

Funny how some people who want to readopt the Founding Father's vision of America, very rarely adopt their clarity of thought and expression.

But I'll let you have the last word: no doubt it will consist of another cryptic, expletive laden, clever-dick, riposte that says nothing of consequence about anything.

Heya Joe

Jeremy's picture

It's noteworthy that you bring up No Country For Old Men. I'm an avid fan of Cormac McCarthy's novels, No Country.. being one of them. While it can't be said there's much Objectivist merit in the work other than positive archetypal depictions of heroes vs. villains and the haunted feelings men have that push them to move forward, I find McCarthy has a keen, almost terrifyingly simple grasp of the mind-or non-mind-of the evil character. His villains are often sociopathic. Brutal, whimsical men with ropes, fire and guns. Blood Meridian in particular is a chilling account of a relatively sane boy riding posse with a company of shockingly violent, insane men. For a clear, unobscured glimpse of the face of all forms of evil personified, McCarthy beats all. This is what socialism and religion look like in human form.

 

edit: his evil characters may be McCarthy's idea of unchecked aggressive capitalism. I'm not his biographer Sticking out tongue

The Supervillian paradox

Jmaurone's picture

 It would be interesting to see Pigman's take on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN...;) 

Another explanation comes from the world of comic books. Peter David wrote an interesting essay about this. In classical mythology, the hero was the one who set out on adventures, and the villian was the one who got in his way. (Protaganist and antagonist.) In comics, the roles were reversed: the Villian became the protaganist, the one who set out to accomplish something (right or wrong), while the hero had one purpose: TO STOP THE VILLIAN (antagonist.) Rand commented on a similar reversal in Romantic literature, the heroes were often stock characters while the "colorful" rogue stole the show. Because heroes with Christian ethics were punished for being ambitious, while the villians did not have such a moral restraint (which is why her characters are inversions of villain archetypes such as the greedy industrialist) or straight-up tricksters (Prometheus.)

 I think the answer to Linz's question involves the fear of the abyss, becoming the very thing one is fighting. The fraud is in the suggestion of the false duality, that there is only two choices: be the lamb (like Jesus) or the Wolf. In the conventional view, there is no room for the heroic slayer anymore. Thank you, Yoda. 

Because it's no country for old men...

Jmaurone's picture

"Why is evil that's motivated?"

 It may be helpful to consider the praise for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, a movie that won  three British Academy of Film awards, two Golden Globes, and four Academy Awards, includingBest PictureBest Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay

 Why was this movie so acclaimed? Roger Ebert writes that "the movie demonstrates how pitiful ordinary human feelings are in the face of implacable injustice."[11]

 Consider the villain of the story:

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh

sociopathic assassin hired to recover the drug money. The character was a recurrence of the "Unstoppable Evil" archetype found in the Coen Brothers' work... Chigurh has been perceived as a "modern equivalent of Death from Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film The Seventh Seal".[32]  

 Consider his victims, who mostly passively await their death at the hands of Chigurh instead of fighting back.

And consider the climax of the movie, with the injured villain simply walking away from the scene of the crime. 

 To get to Linz's question...what is the response of the forces of good (in the movie, the sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones):

  The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that "I'm afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don't understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He'd have to say, "OK, I'll be part of this world." 

 

or this line: Ellis: Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity. 

 The theme is that of Nietzsche's abyss. This, I submit, it the idea that's permeated the culture, preventing the good from taking back the world.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
 

Who's 'We'?

Billy Beck's picture

Never let it be said that presumption cannot live up to its task, ladies and gentlemen:

"Our problem is that we have allowed the sentinel appointed to guard us against evil bastards to become corrupted."

You didn't have shit to do with it. Go knout yourself out in the garage.

My answer to Linz's Question:

Robert's picture

Evil is motivated because being a parasite is easy work which yields big rewards for a modicum of effort. While the industrious break their backs sowing and reaping the harvest, the evil fuck sit back and wait until all the heavy lifting is done before he gets his cut.

Our problem is that both our predecessors & neighbors have allowed the sentinel appointed to guard us against evil bastards to become corrupted. So we must convince others to help us sack the bastards and appoint someone more honest.

Sadly, many people are philosophically predisposed to looking fondly upon this sentinel because he makes empty (but persuasive) promises to lend them a hand if they'll lend them their support. And these dupes have fallen for it.

The thing is, you can replace the sentinel, but if you don't do anything about educating the dupes you're just pissing into the wind.

"Gimme Dat Ol' Time Religion"

Billy Beck's picture

You know, I have to give it a 6. It's got a tempo to it but the traditional folk verses wear me out.

Sciabarra's quote...

Robert's picture

"... is that individual freedom is possible only to those who are strong enough, psychologically and morally, to withdraw their sanction from any given system that coercively thrives off their productive energies."

So, in your view, it's a case of all or nothing is it? Everything coercive must be shunned no matter how small.

This implication is only plausible in the ~fictional~ world that Rand constructed because, with artistic license, she made it technologically possible to create a hermetically sealed sanctuary that could be reached by mere mortals.

Unfortunately we don't live in Rand's Atlas Shrugged world. A is A. we live in this one, and no matter ~what~ I do, I will give some measure of sanction to the coercive system.

Even if I were to avoid the US government by hopping on a international flight every 6 months to avoid having a fixed, taxable, abode - I would merely be dancing different steps to their tune, not my own. And of course, they'd get their cut on every product I bought during my stay thanks to sales/sin taxes.

So instead some here have chosen to pick their battles, much like George Washington did. Instead of opposing the British everywhere at once, Washington (after some serious defeats) learned to dance around them, engaging them when it was to his advantage (picking the low lying military fruit) and basically wearing them down.

Yes, it would be nice if Washington and ourselves had it within our power to oppose every outrage with complete and utter overwhelming force. But that wasn't possible then and it isn't possible now.

For one thing, one man cannot stop the world alone. That wasn't even possible in Rand's AS world. Galt worked to convince the producers of their folly and they then voluntarily withdrew their services. Galt threw a philosophical sabot into the wheels, but others still had to give action to the ideas.

Even Galt needed the help of others!

And that is the lesson from the Revolution.

The key battles of the US Revolution were not fought with muskets, but with the pen - years before the first shot was fired at Lexington. Enough people had to be convinced that the only possible recourse was to put their lives on hold and commit themselves, full-time, to changing the world through their combined action.

The reason why these pricks have it so easy, is that liberty is an easy target. Evil is motivated because being a parasite is easy work which yields big rewards for a modicum of effort. While the industrious break their backs sowing and reaping the harvest, the evil fuck sit back and wait until all the heavy lifting is done before he gets his cut.

It is impossible to place a constitutional ring fence around something as large as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's why the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Eternity is a long time. When can you make time to enjoy your own finite time on this planet if you are spending all of it watching every predator in government robes?

What sort of life is that? Again, I'd be defining my life in terms of them.

Do we even need to make room for the likes of them? Yes we do. Because the only thing more vulnerable than our collective liberty is our own individual pursuit of life. We need a disinterested party to arbitrate our disputes with other citizens. Anything else would be to seed power to the person with the biggest gun: Anarchy & Despotism.

So we choose a middle course. Fight the fights you can win while attempting to convince your neighbor that it is in his mortal interest to lend a hand. Damn Linz and PC for doing this if you like.

But by setting your own standards for "Shrugging" so impossibly high you are being hypocritical. You might be able to 'set your mind free' but you'll have the devilish time trying to 'get your ass to follow.'

You too are giving your sanction to a coercive system every time to pay sales tax on a guitar string or a beer. Watch TV? Then everything you see is regulated by the FCC. Use medicine or eat store bought food? You're sanctioning the FDA and christ knows what farm subsidies/protectionist tariffs. Use the internet? That computer uses radio wave emitting components that are regulated by the FCC. As are the radio waves beamed to the Cable Companies Satellite dishes in their Urban Planner sanctioned building.

The wiring that delivers internet access and electricity to you was developed with the sanction of some Bureaucrat and every blog post you've written has been scanned by government counter-espionage agencies looking for terrorists and on and on.

So unless you are building a spaceship capable of colonizing Alpha Centauri with people of your philosophical persuasion, you should be the one to 'shut the fuck up.' Hypocrite!

Olivia

Billy Beck's picture

"PS... I really enjoyed your memoir to your Dad. Sounds like a top bloke."

He really was.

Thank you, Olivia. I hadn't read that in a long time. I think it's pretty good.

I need to go on an editing binge with some of that stuff. I think the story of the En Vogue tour is pretty good, but I'm afraid to look at it because I'm pretty sure that a lot of that text is a mess.

I just now read every article in the Citabria flight training series. Hadn't done that in quite a while, and I think that was very much worth doing, too.

"If you could drop the rabid dog approach for a moment and apply yourself to the conversation at hand, I for one would be interested."

In what, then? What am I supposed to tell you?

Look: I get home from working the Fourth weekend in New Orleans, and I take a look around all my blogmarks. I see everybody and their brother congratulating America's birthday. I'm fucking disgusted.

I don't celebrate anymore: haven't in a long damned time. I shoot guns in the back yard on that day. I have a seventy-five yard range for my SKS: I punch 7.62mm holes in engine blocks. To hell with beers and barbecues. I take this stuff a lot more seriously than that.

It drives me mad to see people in this place cheering this sort of bullshit.

Here's something we might be able to agree on: though it might eventually be driven to the ends of the earth (Paine's "fugitive" from Common Sense), the idea that was born in my country will never die.

Here's something that I cannot see in dispute: America might not be dead, but it sure smells funny. (That's a joke, paraphrased from Frank Zappa: he was talking about jazz.)

So, let's talk about SOLO.

I spend a lot of my time online looking around almost desperately for something by anyone that indicates a seriously incisive grasp of current events and what they really mean. (Look, kids: did you guys read about the IMF ordering a full-blast audit of US financials? They intend to handle Bernanke like he was one of the wheels at Enron and the rank sonofabitch deserves it.)

I could roll with holiday horseshit from your average net.moron out there with a blogspot account or whatever: it's about what I would expect.

What drives me crazy are the implications of Objectivists treating that asshole on a political par, which is my conclusion principally on the fact that I see none them acting at any level more politically advanced than standing in line with that asshole in front of a voting booth.

I understand completely that Sciabarra isn't the most welcome character around this joint, but: nobody in world history was ever more correct than that man was when he pointed out that "The most subversive political implication of Atlas Shrugged, is that individual freedom is possible only to those who are strong enough, psychologically and morally, to withdraw their sanction from any given system that coercively thrives off their productive energies." ("Russian Radical", pp. 301-302)

It appalls me, Olivia: I do not understand how anyone in touch with political affairs -- and the culture from which they spring -- and who really understands what there is to understand about Objectivism, could possibly be content to practice politics in the ways that they have for our entire lifetimes.

...while they're making all that noise about "KASS".

And it happens just about every time (not so much here, but only because I've not been busy here and this is a familiar experience) and has for a long time now: I come toddling along to challenge premises and self-winding units crawl out of the woodwork to give me nonsense about two steps removed from what the ordinary commie in line with them at the polls can put together. I get presumptive fools lecturing me about "apathy" and "indifference" and when I intimate the facts for them, I get jazz about "street-cred", which is a nifty little change of subject. The initiative goes over to troll-criers and "appeal to the issue", but it's a funny thing: I'm the one who brought it up. And from where I sit, it's a scream to watch the gaggle scattering.

{shrug} A lot of people have trouble with my style. And: I'm fuckin'-aye pissed-off, no doubt about it.

You've got heart, Olivia. Tell me what I should tell you.

Kasper

Billy Beck's picture

"Give us more than that Billy or piss off!"

Okay, fine then: I'm a lot more interested in whether I could respect you.

Um...

Olivia's picture

Kasper.... my breasts and my benevolence are two very different things.
I can only assume you've been on the turps tonight.

Billy you lucky boy.

Kasper's picture

Nothing like the warmth of a womans boob. Look Billy you have the total benevolence from Olivia to make a point and engage in a discussion. I would take this up if I were you! Eye

Appealing to the Issue.

Olivia's picture

This place is probably full of people who have no reason at all to know, Olivia, but there are a few who do.

After reading your website Billy, you strike me as someone who possibly might want to make a considered contribution to this thread. I jumped straight to the uprising idea personally (which went down like a lead balloon), yet I see that you've considered these matters rather extensively already.

I wouldn't have a complaint here if I saw people behaving themselves thoughtfully. What I see are a bunch of mouthy dilettantes.

You may be wrong about that. I think most of us do make a solid attempt at living our lives thoughtfully. I know I do. If you could drop the rabid dog approach for a moment and apply yourself to the conversation at hand, I for one would be interested.

I'm not telling you to play nice... or even fair for that matter... just a bit of good faith would be beneficial, unless you truly don't have any toward most of us.

PS... I really enjoyed your memoir to your Dad. Sounds like a top bloke. Smiling

I'm assuming ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... Billy is going through the menopause, aggravated by all those years of headbanging. I don't mind people going off, but a point would be nice! Eye

I dunno Scott..

Jeremy's picture

I can't even say I like Billy's style. He's being a troll. Perhaps that's not his s.o.p., but as far as I can tell Billy is not interested at all in being anything else, or in discussing Linz's original question, to wit:

To Linz: Shut the fuck up, you dismal clown.

And nothing that has followed from Billy is remotely worth being in this thread. I see a lot of boastful proclamations about being the raddest baddest revolutionary in town. But nothing that makes me want to drink a beer with the guy. And he doesn't want my respect. As if it was ever offered Sticking out tongue

Here's where the rubber meets the road...

atlascott's picture

Discussion and discussion and discussion can ~seem~like a circle jerk. Forcing a copper to arrest you for a stupid fucking law and asking him to explain the WHY's feels like a more tangible step in shining light on it. So, I get it.

I think alot of what I am about to describe was cured when Rowland took his marbles and went home (we got rid of some useless people and pretenders), and when the Branden bullshitters had their hissy and flounced (wow, I could tell a story but I 'aint agonna). But there have been a few people I got to know from SOLO that was that were ideologically Objectivists, but in their lives, they were mice, or sheep. Not bold productive achievers, but meek mediocrities terrified of stepping out.

The foregoing is the reason why I support the truth of some of what Billy is saying. His reasons for his positions could have nothing to do with the above, but its the kernel of the reason why I like Billy, not afraid to say it. I like his cantankerous style.

That said, his ire is wrongly directed at Linz and/or PC, both of whom I hold in high regard, and a cursory examination of their accomplishments show that they are doing a fair bit to spread the ideas we hold dear. No slackers, these.

So, we can agree that Billy might offend at a tea party. I'll bet he's fun to have a few beers with, moody git. Some of the most interesting people are uncompromising eccentrics.

Here's the shame, Billy: in this company, you ~should~ be interested in the respect o fellows like Linz and PC. We are the closest things to friends and allies folks like us are like to get, other than a person in real life, here or there. I do not know what respect means in this context, but I like your style, as I have said before.

Scott DeSalvo

www.desalvolaw.com
FREE Injury Report and CD Reveal the Secrets You Need to Know to Protect Your RIGHTS!

To reiterate the point made

Mark Hubbard's picture

To reiterate the point made in my post below, about why evil is so much more motivated, following is this lunch times email to Trevor Mallard. There is just so much new law to work through, ultimately you drown in crud and frustration.

 

Dear Mr Mallard

... [Technical issues.]

Your letter to me of 14 December, 2007, gave some hope there would finally be movement on this issue in the new year. Given we are now over half way through the year, could you please confirm for me just when I can expect the appropriate change to be made to this form? And may I reiterate again, the fact that it takes over three years to correct an oversight on your Department's behalf, on such a simple matter as this, further evidences to me how hopelessly bureaucratic and over-governed New Zealand has now become (as our Welfare State lurches disastrously toward the violent society it was inevitable that it become under the policies of the 'New-Age' liberal Left).

I look forward to your reply, hopefully shortly; in the meantime, I'll write the further submission necessary to the appropriate Select Committee presenting my views on why I should not be pulled into the too-wide scope of the Financial Advisors Bill, given I am not a financial advisor. After that, I shall then help my hairdressing clients complete their management plans so they will be in compliance with your Government's upcoming new health and safety regulations. Perhaps after you reply to the substantive part of my query above, regarding Form IR 888, you could have someone research for me the number of deaths caused by other than natural causes in our hairdressing salons.

Somewhere around midnight, I may even be able to do some paid work.

Yours faithfully

Mark Hubbard

Billy, as I said

Elijah's picture

Billy, as I said earlier...you need to understand that many chaps here are right up on theoretical matters, but as you can appreciate, some of us are not going to engage in bringing the house down.

That would be foolish.

It may seem to you 'empty cans make the most noise' but there are ways to lead a revolution and then there is stupidity.

As Dave Henderson, and even myself on a couple of occasions, can attest...if you are going to lauch a full frontal attack on instruments of the State, you better be prepared for all manner of stress, dirty tricks, deceit and other problems if you do not have some sort of army backing you up!

One thing I am curious about, you mention imprisonment..ummmmm..what exactly does that achieve?

http://nzcapitalist.blogspot.com/

What?

Kasper's picture

Give us more than that Billy or piss off!

News Flash

Billy Beck's picture

Get this straight, ladies and gentlemen:

I'm not interested in your respect.

Hold on, now...

Jeremy's picture

I understand Billy's point.  In fact, I'm beginning to agree.  Essentially, unless one is dumb enough to break the government's arbitrary laws in plain view of its jack-booted gorillas (the police, apparently) one cannot begin to know how to fight for reason, individuality, and...well...basically you just won't be as tough as Billy. 

Due to my new-found requirement that any person advocating liberty should-nay must!- have been arrested due to being an idiot in plain view of the police, I hereby denounce Ayn Rand. After all, she escaped Soviet Russia before it got really bad.  She was never arrested as far as I know.  Her life was never really at risk. 

She just plain made up all this Objectivist bullshit without having any true idea of what it meant to be a freedom fighter battling the grand scam of vehicle insurance. Oh and I denounce Thomas Jeffferson.....how hard could it have been back then?19th century...pffft.  I mean, they had slaves!

what a douche-canoe...

 

 

Billy:

Robert's picture

I echo Peter's question, why should I give a rat's arse how your 'editor' works or whether there is any value in its output?

Any moron can say "fuck" a lot. Have you got anything more prophetic than expletives? A coherent counter argument to the topic of the thread perhaps?

An sage observation that Americans have faced such ambivalence to evil before and triumphed, but only when the circumstances are at their most dire and some firebrand steps forth to stir their souls and prick their consciences:

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated..." - Thomas Paine: American Crisis.

You claim to be such a firebrand. All I see are epithets and incoherent uncoordinated raging against the governmental machine.

Prove me wrong? Or not, as you like.

Frankly, attempting to decide whether you are due respect or more derision isn't worth another minute of my time.

So what's the point?

Peter Cresswell's picture

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but after all that attention-seeking I'm still no closer to knowing what Mr Beck's point actually is.

"Shut the fuck up, you dismal clown."

"If there is a single person here who knows who I am, you'd be doing this person a favor to explain it to him before I have to get nasty about this."

"I wouldn't have a complaint here if I saw people behaving themselves thoughtfully. What I see are a bunch of mouthy dilettantes."

"Let me tell you something: if the IRS decided to throw me in prison, it would be the worst mistake they could make."

All sounds a lot like empty boasting to me. From an empty vessel.

I see nothing at the link Suma supplied {thanks, Suma] to explain Mr Beck's tirade, nor reason to explore further (nice piece on Fallingwater, however).

If you are active in promoting reason, why dump unreasonably on someone who should be an ally? If you're not just an arsehole, as you appear, sir, then what's with the outraged 'Do you know who I am?' bullshit? I have no reason to know, and you give me no reason to care. Life is too short to explore the obsessions of arseholes, or of those who've shown that they are.

So what, in one sentence, is your beef, Mr William J. Beck III, because at this stage all I see of you and your beard and your guitar and all your irrational rage ("...explain it to him before I have to get nasty about this") makes me think of the conclusion to Ayn Rand's article, 'Are We in the Middle of the 'Second American Revolution'?:

"What this country needs is a philosophical revolution—a rebellion against the Kantian tradition—in the name of the first of our Founding Fathers: Aristotle. This means a reassertion of the supremacy of reason, with its consequences: individualism, freedom, progress, civilization. What political system would it lead to? An untried one: full, laissez-faire capitalism. But this will take more than a beard and a guitar."

Billy

Kasper's picture

Billy what do you expect? Rage before reason looks like empty rage. Your highly reactive for reasons that you have not given. Their validity therefore cannot be measured. Your behavior is and will be judged on this thread, hence the resistance. Robert is right when he says you have attacked two people on this thread who have practically dragged their scrotum's along the ground for this country!

Don't expect understanding - you have given nothing towards it here.

Robert = Fail

Billy Beck's picture

"In effect he is saying that..." {whack}

Shut the fuck up, Robert. Nobody gets to put words in my editor but me. Do you understand?

Consider it like this, Elijah

Billy Beck's picture

The essence of what I'm talking about is the mind/body synthesis. This would be in the best traditions of Objectivism.

"Free your mind, and your ass will follow."

"...but I think everybody has their hearts in the right place."

Make no mistake about it: I do, too.

It's not enough.

I think Jeremy's post

Mark Hubbard's picture

I think Jeremy's post answered the question posed, with some brilliant observations added by Scott. I have only one thing to add to it: evil has not just time on its side, it has numbers and thus a critical momentum of vested interest.

Nameless bureaucrats can sit within their fortresses of legislation, spinning laws to trap the individual within their inane words; and there are so many bureaucrats, and thus so many laws. The over-regulation of my life is obscene. I spend hours emailing the faceless, writing to the nameless, fighting through call centres trying to find 'the' target to put things right, but it is impossible to find the single man or woman that can turn the evil around, on any topic, for the expertly crafted tradition of buck passing has meant there is, and are, none, and the politicians have all arrogantly turned themselves into a collective where the names change, and the parties, but the evil doesn't, thus harsh words from lone voices simply bounce off into silence. The examples of this are in every sphere of life you care to look.

Through imprudent investments made by some, then market forces, private finance companies go down, but instead of leaving it to the market to correct the excess, our woolly minded politicians have crafted the Financial Advisors Bill, scoped so widely it could possibly now threaten my twenty year career, or at least curtail some of the advisory work I do. Not definitely, but it's a distinct possibility, as drafted. Even though I'm not a financial planner.

To fix some perceived ill in our die while you wait health system our politicians regulate and regulate some more, and suddenly hair saloons find they are in breach of health regulations, despite no person has every died in NZ in a hair saloon, other than possibly from natural causes. (As far as I’m aware).

And it just goes on and on.

So many laws, so many bureaucrats that can target 'me' with all the time in the world, while I have multitudinous responsibilities, and am spread so thin, I cannot fight back. Not effectively, for they can duck and weave, spin and outlaw, and I'm stuck out in the open, and as Jeremy states, with no time at all.

That's another reason why evil can prosper. Weight of numbers. Which is why, incidentally, Libertarianz is so important: it is the only voice of freedom on the ballot paper, and good on those who tread the streets in support of it. More than I’m doing for this election (other than giving them my vote, and voicing my support for them whenever asked or talking about politics). And the pamphlet drop to the truckies was a brilliant idea Peter. At least some minds are being changed, one by one.

Combine that activism, with Jeremy’s final words, which I do try to implement :

I too am impatient. I do my best to influence those around me with good examples...I try to be forthright and hard-working, and uncompromising when it comes to my values. I won't stand to be pushed around, or intimidated. I vehemently rip apart any calls for collectivism or any mention of religion. It's my own little war. And folks around me are certainly effected by my tenacity, if not my ideas.

And that’s the most logical way to fight back circa 2008. At least in my mind. Just a pity it’s going to be such a slow crawl out of the Dark Ages.

Billy's point:

Robert's picture

"Here is an American fact: we're at the point where it is impossible to fully understand politics in my country without that experience."

Which is bullshit.

In effect he is saying that: To those who've spent time in a US prison on a trumped up charge, no explanation (of American politics and how fucked up they are) is necessary. To those who haven't done so, no explanation is possible.

Utter and complete self-serving crap.

I don't need to be shot to know it will hurt. I have the ability to predict that it will based from my experiences handling firearms, my limited knowledge of medicine. Its called a brain. Why don't you, Mr. Beck, look into getting one.

The layperson is quite capable of connecting the dots after a brief perusal of certain history books, a modicum of exposure to philosophy, a glance at their tax demand and listening to these guys as they discuss why you should NEVER talk to the police. (Hat tip: Noodlefood )

And as for mouthy dilettantes, this dick was singled out Linz and PC. Two of the most dedicated activists for freedom here. Had he singled out myself - for instance - his point may have been valid.

Linz and PC both, have written and done more (quality and quantity wise) than Beck has. And neither of them have had to spend time in prison to find the time to do so - as Beck laments above.

Both of them have actively defied the laws in their country and given material aid to those who've been on the receiving end of the 'justice' system in NZ. I know, because I witnessed it.

And there are ominous parallels between what ~is~ happening in the USA and what ~has~ already happened in NZ. Something Americans would do well to pay heed too, least they make the same mistakes.

I think Billy has a point

Elijah's picture

I think Billy has a point when he is critical of many Solo-ists and their experiences being either theoretical or fleeting when it comes to proactive stands against the very things they claim to dislike.

This is because many on solopassion.com are academics and amateur philosophers...empty cans making the most noise, so to speak...(hence their shock and embarrassment whenever a chap who is 'the real thing' comes along)...but I think everybody has their hearts in the right place. Smiling

http://nzcapitalist.blogspot.com/

Scott: "I have known others

Billy Beck's picture

Scott: "I have known others who take suicidal stances against government, too."

Stop that. Let me tell you something: if the IRS decided to throw me in prison, it would be the worst mistake they could make.

I would have time to do nothing but think and write.

"You ignore these realities at your peril."

I'm not ignoring anything, sir. I know exactly what I'm doing every single step of the way, and I always have. You see, when it comes time for me to draw my final breath, I intend to be able to respect myself. I'm doing everything that I can to hold no value that can be used as a hostage against me.

"There are some good reasons that cars and other motor vehicles are registered."

Not by the state. Listen; that "Dark Thread" episode was one of many. (Pop quiz:: how many of you people have ever spent a night in jail on a charge like that? Here is an American fact: we're at the point where it is impossible to fully understand politics in my country without that experience.) Here is what I understand through experience: every statist rationale for what you're talking about is a goddamned lie. There is no point whatever to DMV law beyond power exertion and revenue. Those two things are what it's all about, and anyone who doesn't understand that is simply not thinking it through.

"if you are going to purposely put yourself in these situations, why would you be shocked that the government motherfucks you at every turn?"

To begin with: I'm not "shocked" at that. I'm outraged. That's a categorical distinction. And: I'm outraged because I understand America and will not peaceably settle for anything less.

"We just aren't willing to be slaughtered in an armed revolt over vehicle registration. And neither are you, it seems."

That's right, because "slaughter" (your word, and most emphatically not mine) is not necessary. We're talking about cockroaches, Scott. All it would take would be enough people to shine an ethical/political light on them and they would disappear. If you doubt me, then I give you the collapse of the Soviet bloc as evidence.

"But if the standard of value is my life qua man, then there are other moral choices."

{shrug} Sez you. My idea of a "man" does not include idly putting up with this shit while making impotent noises in a net.clubhouse.

Now, now Peter,

Robert's picture

must not be impertinent towards someone of the stature of the legendary William J. Beck III.

Able to stand up to two Traffic Cops simultaneously apparently.

You mean you never heard about it? That makes two of us! And I've been to Georgia! I obviously missed the statue memorializing the event. Another strike against my public education.

Even so, given the nature of the acquisition of knowledge, I'd say that so long as you have eyes to see and a brain to process the data, it doesn't matter where you were born, only whether your analysis is correct.

We are only sure that Mr. Beck doesn't like your conclusion but have no idea why.

And given that Mr. Beck's only retort was "Don't you know who I am?" (at which point those damned crickets drowned out the response), I'm sure that I don't care to know either who he is or what he thinks of the topic under discussion.

PS: The next time Billy decides to measure his freedom fighting street cred against someone else, maybe he should pick someone who actually ~is~ an useless inert nothing in the face of government encroachment.

Sadly, that would require Billy to look beyond his own life's struggle into the wider world and acknowledge that there are bigger fish to fry than the registration of motor vehicles and that someone somewhere might actually be warming up a deep fryer at this very moment...

Its a personal decision

atlascott's picture

Billy, I appreciate your contributions at SOLO.

I have known others who take suicidal stances against government, too.

There is no doubt that taxation is theft, that so much government is ridiculous.

I read your "Dark Thread" on the site posted by Suma. Interesting read.

If everyone were like you, then society would stop, and we could start working on a correct society. But, if everyone were like you, we wouldn't be here in the first place.

Everyone is not like you, and this is an observation one must make for their survival, just like noticing an approaching tornado or a hungry bear in the woods. You ignore these realities at your peril.

When hopelessly overmatched, you can choose to fight, and perish. Or, you can choose to object and live your life, live to fight another day. Spread the word as you may, fight the fights you can win.

Riding an unregistered, uninsured motorcycle is an invitation for tickets. There are some good reasons that cars and other motor vehicles are registered. These things you must know.

So the question is: if you are going to purposely put yourself in these situations, why would you be shocked that the government motherfucks you at every turn?

Mind you, none of us support the government fucking you, all of us oppose the government fucking you. We just aren't willing to be slaughtered in an armed revolt over vehicle registration. And neither are you, it seems.

Some may argue that the only moral life is the life you have chosen, Billy. But if the standard of value is my life qua man, then there are other moral choices.

Scott DeSalvo

www.desalvolaw.com
FREE Injury Report and CD Reveal the Secrets You Need to Know to Protect Your RIGHTS!

Billy Beck

Suma's picture

Billy Beck = John Galt II(*)

Here is a place to start.

(*) Saw it elsewhere on the web, but from what I've read seems apt.

Punks

Billy Beck's picture

"So who are you?"

This place is probably full of people who have no reason at all to know, Olivia, but there are a few who do. No one could blame them for staying out of this, but Cresswell could do himself a big favor by understanding who and what he's talking about before he starts running his yap about a "thesis" involving "apathy" and/or "indifferen[ce]".

Bet: not one of you people have stood on the edge against a government for a single day the way I have for a whole lifetime.

I wouldn't have a complaint here if I saw people behaving themselves thoughtfully. What I see are a bunch of mouthy dilettantes.

And Objectivism deserves a lot better than that.

Yes, Billy, gosh...as

Elijah's picture

Yes, Billy, gosh...as everyone knows I am not a nitpicky sort of chap...but..gosh..there is no need to use swearwords...

http://nzcapitalist.blogspot.com/

Bully... I mean Billy...

Olivia's picture

If there is a single person here who knows who I am, you'd be doing this person a favor to explain it to him before I have to get nasty about this.

So who are you?

Never heard of you

PhilipD's picture

 No idea who you are Billy but got a fair idea now what you are. (nice haircut though)

 

"The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools."

-Herbert Spencer 

"If there is a single person

Peter Cresswell's picture

"If there is a single person here who knows who I am..."

... or cares?

Let Me Explain Something To You Briefly, Cresswell

Billy Beck's picture

You have no standing whatever to talk about a proven case, sonny. Here's your clue:

Do you see that word, "apathy"? You need to check your stupid premise.

~~~~~

If there is a single person here who knows who I am, you'd be doing this person a favor to explain it to him before I have to get nasty about this.

Hey, Billy!

Peter Cresswell's picture

"Evil is motivated; good is indifferent...

Apathy is endemic, and militant evil rampages into the vacuum...

For until reason learns to be passionate, unreason will rule."

Thanks for helping demonstrate the thesis.

You fucking numb nut.

Barf

Billy Beck's picture

"The path is clear for rational passion and passionate reason, if only folk would wake up and give a damn!!"

Shut the fuck up, you dismal clown.

Really: I know this is y'all's little sandbox and I'm a frightfully rude interloper who should just go away and leave you to yourselves, but this really is too much. Fucking morons. "The way is clear..." Idiots. You sit down there in your little sheep-pen and compose these paeans to something that flat doesn't exist anymore -- America -- with such pathetic earnesty, and not one goddamned clue on earth what's really going on. You dopes are a whole generation behind the action, and you keep harping this threadbare horseshit in defiance of the facts.

It makes me sick, and I don't mind saying it.

For Objectivism to run to seed like this is just ghastly. You're not the only ones, of course, but you're bloody lucky that I'm not there at a pub or something to throw a drink in your stupid face.

Shut the fuck up.

Hopefully

gregster's picture

"Perhaps this election will see Libertarianz take a giant leap forward"

I would love to see this and will very happily vote accordingly.

Certainly, Linz

Jeremy's picture

Ball-less-ness and average-ness are not exclusive to the enemy. A quality not often brought to the fore as it should be within Objectivist circles is COURAGE. Stop debating the point and make your fucking point.

Jeremy

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Thank you for taking the trouble seriously to address my question. This:

Most of what we see today that we call evil is the result of a 100-year coup for ball-less socialism, savage religion and insufferable average-ness. And the band played on. People don't mind. Well, fuck the people!

... really nails it. "Insufferable averageness" especially. But do you realise Objectivism is settling for that too? One side in thrall to the anti-heroism Campbell scum, the other unable to tolerate dissent/debate, especially from/about numbingly stupid voting advice along the lines of "vote the greater evil across the board"?

The path is clear for rational passion and passionate reason, if only folk would wake up and give a damn!! Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

As for your question, Linz

Jeremy's picture

I think that evil has the time to be motivated. It has years and decades and centuries to work its vile magic, because it has the worst of the worst of humanity at its disposal: the Busybody. Busybody politicians and journalists, busybody housewives and union leaders, busybody "revolutionaries" and environmentalists and huckster preachers shaking the next new Prophet's blood over humanity's bowed head. Busybodies with nothing better to do than to tell you and me what to do.

Evil needn't rush headlong into battle with czarists or wealth, throwing grenades and grabbing hostages. It can bide its time, legislation by legislation, New Deal by New Deal. It can take the form of concern for nature, wagging its finger at plastics while secretly-or not-praying for the downfall of the wealthy producers of those plastics; it can capitulate to desert savages and crash an economy by letting them up the price of gas; it can bring down the nation of relative freedom and replace it with a nation of tepid evenness by exploiting the guilt of hordes of unquestioning consumers. 'Well, of course the millionaires shouldn't have helicopters while the bum has a cardboard box.' 'Of course I don't think Islam is inherently violent....maybe we should create that Department of Islamic Affairs...'

Dupes, all of them, and they aren't unhappy with it. Bloodless, indifferent people stretching their paychecks, wishing
for a better tomorrow, and seeing only Nanny at the door with another
teat swollen with their fellows' extorted money and effort. Most of what we see today that we call evil is the result of a 100-year coup for ball-less socialism, savage religion and insufferable average-ness. And the band played on. People don't mind. Well, fuck the people!

We've only just gotten hold of this thing called Objectivism. Since I don't want to tell anyone what to do, I'm at a distinct disadvantage to the aching, bleeding heart busybodies that just want everyone to get along, and will bash us over the head with their government if we don't. I guess that's why they seem so motivated, and we so intolerably powerless. I guess it's gonna be a long haul. Sticking to it will win it.

I too am impatient. I do my best to influence those around me with good examples...I try to be forthright and hard-working, and uncompromising when it comes to my values. I won't stand to be pushed around, or intimidated. I vehemently rip apart any calls for collectivism or any mention of religion. It's my own little war. And folks around me are certainly effected by my tenacity, if not my ideas. Sticking out tongue

Do not sound so suprised,

Elijah's picture

Do not sound so suprised, Jeremy, I am always right Smiling ...yes, it is true Eye

http://nzcapitalist.blogspot.com/

Have to agree with Elijah.

Jeremy's picture

"It all comes back to 'paying the gas bill', Lindsay....alas...every
chap is too busy doing that to care about much else, hence the apathy."

 

Have to hit folks over the head with a shovel these days.

Cresswell...

Olivia's picture

anybody with a brain and a good dollop of creativity can write an ad-campaign... it is funding it that's more difficult especially buying the media to place it.

Bravo! Very well observed.

Peter Cresswell's picture

Bravo! Very well observed.

And I love that comment by James: "Those who keep their values on a shelf too high to reach never really possess them." Perfectly put, sir. ;^)

PS: On a related point, I wondered to myself yesterday why so few Libz activists took the opportunity to print out the Libz press release supporting the truckers' protest to hand out to truckers as they sat in their cabs. Easy activism, putting the moral argument in front of those with time to read it, and the means by which to disseminate it to the factories and warehouses of the country, and AFAIK there were just two of us out doing the job.

How come? It's the same question Lindsay asks above, and has asked for years.

PPS: Olivia, wouldn't "an ad-campaign calling people to rise" require an ad-man prepared to do the same?

Comes down to organisation.

Olivia's picture

If we militantly organised certain days to call the whole country to tool down and hit the streets in protest against certain atrocities, like petrol tax, GST on all goods and services, personal income tax etc, then high numbers of the population may turn up. Of course it would need to be well organised in advance, again with significant press on our side, as well as be thoroughly canvassed for - by way of door to door visits. People would have to be prepared to "not pay the gas bill" for that day, as Eli states.

The key would be press coverage beforehand... in other words an ad-campaign calling people to rise.

Of course ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... one mustn't overlook the role of the anti-conceptual mentality in all of this. Someone posts an article about monopolies using Microsoft in his argument. Before you know it the debate is deflected into Macs vs. PCs, the respective merits of different operating systems, blah, blah.

I write an article asking whence evil derives its strength, given that on its own it's impotent. I mention "armed uprising" in passing. Next thing we're on to the merits of an armed uprising.

"Is it ethical to rob a bank? Which bank?"

Concrete-bound DBs everywhere. Eye

Missing the point ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I was not arguing for an armed uprising. I was arguing that if someone were to organise one, no one would turn up for the same reason that they're nowhere to be seen in non-military contexts either: apathy. Lazy, lumpen fucking apathy. A condition that does not afflict evil, alas. That's my point. How can that not be clear? My very title is, "Why is it evil that's motivated?"

Sorry?

Olivia's picture

How did I miss the point. I think I got straight to it.

It all comes back to

Elijah's picture

It all comes back to 'paying the gas bill', Lindsay....alas...every chap is too busy doing that to care about much else, hence the apathy.

http://nzcapitalist.blogspot.com/

Missing the point ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"Evil is motivated; good is indifferent. If 'Original Sin' means anything, it’s that. Apathy is endemic, and militant evil rampages into the vacuum."

Why don't we have an uprising?

Olivia's picture

To do it, there would have to be a fail safe plan – one couldn’t go off half cocked on idealism.

- It would take the loyalty of the armed forces, including the police force and the armed offenders squad.
- Loyalty of significant members of the press
- Loyalty of top businessmen to contribute dollars
- Loyalty of significant politicians
- More importantly it would take being prepared to enforce the idea at the point of a gun if need be.

I see just one or two problems and moral hurdles just on the face of it.

James ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I didn't mean the ARI qua Institute; I meant the PARC-mute Objectivists are ARI-aligned, and you'd think they'd know something about loyalty to values.

I don't know about the numbers at KASSless this year, though I read an account of Bob Barr's speech which estimated the audience at 150. If that's the total number of attendees it indicates the decline of recent years is continuing. In the early days they could pull in 300. And I don't think they did themselves any favours by capitulating to a lynch-mob re a certain speaker. Eye

Marcus, I wasn't brought in for the CD give-away. I was filling in for Michael Laws who was unavailable. The CD was a delightful coincidence. Smiling

Thank You

James S. Valliant's picture

Thank you so much, Linz, it means a lot to me. If I had a dime for every private "atta-boy" I've gotten, I'd be a very rich man, but there are those, like you, who've expressed a courage at least the equal of my own.

Those who keep their values on a shelf too high to reach never really possess them.

From Rand's play, Ideal (1934):

Kay Gonda: Do you hate people, Johnnie?
Johnnie: No. I never notice them.
Kay Gonda: What do you dream of?
Johnnie: Nothing. Of what account are dreams?
Kay Gonda: Of what account is life?
Johnnie: None. But who made it so?
Kay Gonda: Those who cannot dream.
Johnnie: No. Those who can only dream.

However, ARI -- institutionally -- has no obligation to take a position on PARC whatever. Their unyielding support in selling the book is more than enough.

In sharp contrast, TAS was founded by Kelley's original paper which had called for debate on the subject of Ms. Branden's biography.

BTW: how is TAS doing -- numbers wise -- at this year's conference, and as compared to previous years? At OCON as we speak, Mr. Moore reports recognizing numerous faces from TAS conferences of yore -- his buddy, Dr. Mike, estimated the number to be in the double digits.

Linz...

Marcus's picture

Thanks for that. They asked you to fill in just because of the Lanza CD's? It must have been a thrill!

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