Jihad, and the Conflation of Freedom with Coercion

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 21:12

When most people think of the word jihad, they think of a fanatical mujahid with an AK-47, struggling to impose his chosen religion on the rest of the world, by force of arms.

In fact, just one aspect of that definition pertains to jihad - the word struggle:

Jihad ... is an Islamic term, from the Arabic root ... "to exert utmost effort, to strive, struggle" ... which connotes a wide range of meanings: anything from an inward spiritual struggle to attain perfect faith to a political or military struggle to further the Islamic cause. To those the neologism "jihadist" is sometimes applied.1

Recent Comments:
Holy War — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:56
And it all goes to show that — by Richard Wiig on Wed, 2006-05-03 09:02
It always seems ironic to — by Capitalist on Wed, 2006-05-03 07:00

( categories: )

Galbraith's Neo-Feudalism

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Tue, 2006-05-02 15:45

[Editorial Note: The following is a fitting remembrance for John Kenneth Galbraith, whom today's New York Times reports as having died on April 29.]

Material progress and individual liberty have once again been made the targets of a crude, sniper attack. In his book, The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard social commentator, has indicated that he views with grave displeasure the “sense of urgency" which is attached to “the craving for more elegant automobiles, more exotic food, more erotic clothing, more elaborate entertainment—indeed for the entire modern range of sensuous, edifying, and lethal desires [sic].” (p. 140.) He has proclaimed that there are things of greater importance, such as more public schools, public parks, public roads, and anything else which “public authority” may deem to be in “relative need.” (pp. 311f.) And he has let it be known that the liberal should cease being “a co-conspirator with the conservative in reducing taxes." (p. 314.)

Recent Comments:
Incredible, Professor — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:43

( categories: )

The Real World War

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-05-02 07:17

Andre Glucksmann writes: "Our planet is not in the grips of a clash of civilisations or cultures. It is the battleground of a decisive struggle between two ways of thinking. There are those who declare that there are no facts, but only interpretations - so many acts of faith. These either tend toward fanaticism ("I am the truth") or they fall into nihilism ("nothing is true, nothing is false"). Opposing them are those who advocate free discussion with a view to distinguishing between true and false, those for whom political and scientific matters – or simple judgement – can be settled on the basis of worldly facts, independently of arbitrary pre-established opinions."

Recent Comments:
A good point — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 06:33

( categories: )

An Early Victory?

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:22

On my Sunday radio show I read out an item from that day's Sunday Star-Times quoting Green MP Sue Kedgley, chair-thing of Parliament's Health Select Committee, saying she would welcome a ban on the promotional toys given away by McDonald's in association with their Happy Meals (& by implication, a ban on the meals themselves). I railed about this for four hours, along with most of my callers. I urged them & all listeners to e-mail Kedgley, along with National MP Jackie Blue who said the idea was worth considering, letting her know what they thought of her nutri-nazism. Several listeners forwarded to me the replies they received from Kedgley. I e-mailed her myself. The exchange is below, her reply at the top:

Recent Comments:
Luxury?! — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-05-07 21:31
I corresponded briefly with — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:42
I appreciate Rick Gile's tart and sassy reply — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:20

( categories: )

Doves for War in Darfur

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-02 00:32
Marching yesterday for American military action in Darfur, Sudan, were many people who have previously marched (and voted) against American military action in Iraq including George Clooney, Al Sharpton and three members of the US Congress who voted against the liberation of Iraq.

Hypocrisy? Well, the New York Sun editorial writer is one who thinks so:


( categories: )

Concordance

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 12:41

Here's a link to a post that I dithered on putting on SOLO or RoR. Since I was intruding on a conversation in a thread initiated there, but in reference to events here in the SOLO archipelago, I thought it best to post a note. Lest I be thought of as being silly and not worthwhile . . . sample scrapbook below.

What is 'dialectical dishonesty? -- essay? Personal blog entry? Part-scholarly document?

WSS

Look into this face Shudder  Tremble  Gasp

Recent Comments:
We are none of us as smart as we think we are . . . — by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-05-03 13:40
William — by Jody Gomez on Wed, 2006-05-03 03:06
Cresswell: 'Save us the bother of reading your nonsense" — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:34

( categories: )

Machan's Musings—Galbraith's Obituary Distortions

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Mon, 2006-05-01 08:39

Not even the obituaries can be trusted now. Having been told of the death of John Kenneth Galbraith, the famed socialist economist—who taught at Harvard University for most of his life and was once John Kennedy’s ambassador to India—I read his obituary in The New York Times (both print and on line) and on several Web sites, including MSN.com, via my Hotmail account.

I have been following the works of Galbraith for many years, since the 1960s after his The Affluent Society was published in 1958 in which, among other things, he aired his oft-reprinted attack on advertising. This is the piece that presented the view that ads produce desires in us which we then must satisfy, thus becoming addicted to products and services we do not need and taking resources from important public projects and diverting them into the coffers of greedy corporations. It is also where Lyndon Johnson’s idea of the Great Society, following such previous utopian statist experiments as FDR’s New Deal and JFK’s New Frontier, got its send up.

Recent Comments:
The dead — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-05-02 20:12
I remember... — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:11
I remember ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:00

( categories: )

Christianist Ex-Chief Thug of FDA Under Criminal Investigation

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-05-01 08:14

The Christianists' false morality is often a screen hiding vile breaches of objective morality. Thanks to a lawsuit against his arbitrary and unjustifiable ban on over-the-counter sale of emergency contraceptive Plan B, we finally learn the real reason why Lester M. Crawford resigned as head of FDA in September, less than three months after the Senate confirmed him: he is under investigation for using his office to profit from the impact of his official decisions on the price of drug company stocks.


( categories: )

Half-full, Half-empty, or Twice the Size it Needs to Be?

Antony Reed's picture
Submitted by Antony Reed on Sun, 2006-04-30 13:59

The "Glass" question always gets me thinking. Why would one allow so much unfilled space? Sure, a pessimist may see the glass as half-empty and if one is a pessimist, I could understand the lack of motivation to change the situation...

However, what good is it to merely see the glass as half-full? Many people may hold hope for the future, but never take action to better their situation. Sure, they are still seen as optimists, but feeling things will be better, and MAKING things better, are completely different.

Why should anyone be happy with half of a life? Are there people in your life that drain you? Do you feel you are obligated to certain things in your life that, if you really looked at them, are no good for you? Is guilt a ball and chain you carry around, making your life only half-empty/half-full? Is your true person different than the one you show the world? Then no wonder.


( categories: )

Absolutes

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sun, 2006-04-30 03:38

“President David Palmer: Anne, I have been in this job for nearly four years and I have learned the hard way that there are no absolutes. Sometimes you have to make compromises.

Anne: (President’s Doctor and Romantic interest) Politically, yes. But when it comes to morality, David, you have to draw the line.”

24 – Season Three – 4 p.m. – 5 p. m.

Recent Comments:
I already have two — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 23:05
Addictive — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-04-30 21:11
> I love Jack Bauer. My — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 20:07

( categories: )

Dirtwater Dynasty

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-30 01:46


As promised, some more Hugo Weaving for you. Before he was in V For Vendetta, before he was in Lord of The Rings and The Matrix trilogies he was an Australian pioneeir.

Weaving played Richard Eastwick in the greatest mini-series I've ever seen, The Dirtwater Dynasty. This is the story of one man, Eastwick, from his life as a homeless urchin in England to the ancient patriarch of a vast Australian empire.

Recent Comments:
Onya, Rick. — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-04-30 08:12

( categories: )

It may concern

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Sat, 2006-04-29 19:39

Thank you.

Recent Comments:
Posting — by eg on Mon, 2006-05-01 15:09
I'm assuming you sent Dear Barbara this here "Dear Barbara" — by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 13:08

( categories: )

[Today's Reprise] THE ROMANTIC MANIFESTO and SCIENCE FICTION: Out of the Gutter, and to the Stars

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Sat, 2006-04-29 06:12

Ayn Rand was a promoter of the Romantic Realism school of literature, but stories such as ANTHEM and ATLAS SHRUGGED contain bits of science fiction and fantasy, genres she both defended as ideally related to Romanticism. Her influence has made its way into STAR TREK, SPIDERMAN, and the works of Terry Goodkind. Her idea of romanticism is well suited to a genre identified with the perennial question “what if?”.

Recent Comments:
Thanks for the comments, — by JoeM on Mon, 2006-05-01 04:24
Joe -- Very thoughtful — by Ed Hudgins on Sun, 2006-04-30 16:52
SF: its Bright Side...and its Dark-Side — by Rowlf on Sun, 2006-04-30 01:58

( categories: )

Mid-Michigan Objectivists-May

Tenyamc's picture
Submitted by Tenyamc on Fri, 2006-04-28 07:00

When: Thursday May 11th, 6:30-?
Where: The home of Jack McHugh on Verlinden in Lansing, MI. Contact me through SOLO mail for directions.

Topic:

Why have a purpose in life if you're an atheist? If you don't believe in God, or an afterlife of any kind, where there are no repercussions for your actions here on Earth, why bother to even live another day? What would be the difference between dying now, or dying at 110 years old? Once you're dead, nothing is going to matter to you anyway. What you accomplished, what made you happy, the values that you held, the rights that you respected, your family, your friends, nothing. You'll be dead and you won't even exist to care about the legacy that you leave behind or anything that you did in your lifetime. So why bother doing anything at all? What's the difference between living your life to the fullest or living it to the least?


( categories: )

Mind-Body Integration

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Fri, 2006-04-28 05:32

A wealth of philosophical literature has been devoted to discussion of the supposed mind-body split, and why no such dichotomy exists. But the specific way in which mind and body are integrated has been neglected to a significant degree. This essay will explore the connection between these components of self and applications for self-training. I intend this to be a foundational paper for future articles on gastronomy, self-motivation, sexuality, and romantic love. I assume that the reader has a working knowledge of psycho-epistemology, specifically the way in which concepts and physical motions are automatized in the subconscious. A summary of these ideas can be found in the introduction to my Psycho-Epistemology of Acting article.

Recent Comments:
Phil — by Dan Edge on Mon, 2006-05-01 02:39
Roots — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-04-29 23:35
The Root of All Good? — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-04-29 03:23

( categories: )

But I do think of you, all the time. Every waking hour...I despise you, I hate you, you reign in my thoughts.

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Fri, 2006-04-28 01:54

"One thing that has been in my mind lately is this; objectivists often quote from the scene in the Fountainhead where Toohey asks Roark to say what he thinks of him, and Roark replies, "But I don't think of you." Some objectivists can't seem to shake thoughts of the Tooheys(or perceived Tooheys) in their life."

Recent Comments:
Landon, — by Casey on Sat, 2006-04-29 09:29
Casey — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-04-29 07:53
Ipso Facto — by Casey on Sat, 2006-04-29 07:20

( categories: )

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Star in Atlas Shrugged

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Thu, 2006-04-27 23:56

Apparently, the couple are both fans of Rand and will star as Dagny Taggart and John Galt. No kidding. It's true.

http://linktrim.com/5g7

 

Recent Comments:
Here's my all star and — by 0 on Thu, 2007-06-28 15:48
Well, She's Right — by James S. Valliant on Thu, 2007-06-21 03:13
> She and Brad need some — by PhilipC on Mon, 2007-06-11 18:41

( categories: )

Questions for Diana

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Thu, 2006-04-27 19:25

This thread is for questions about the charges and claims Diana has made over a long period of time about the Objectivist Movement and the people in it more broadly. Its purpose is to focus on claims and evidence and avoid side issues (not get sidetracked into personal attacks or old grievances on other matters between posters, as already has happened on the 'dialectical dishonesty' thread).

Recent Comments:
That was in the other thread — by Boaz the Boor on Mon, 2006-05-29 06:24
Phil, I remember saying — by Mike_M on Mon, 2006-05-29 02:27
I assume Mike will explain — by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-05-29 01:06

( categories: )

Edwin A. Locke to receive APS' Cattell Award

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-04-27 18:04

Claims about the supposed low productivity of scholars associated with ARI have appeared on this site - so here is some spectacular disconfirmation of that notion, from a recent announcement by the Association for Psychological Science:

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Each year, APS honors psychological researchers for their lifetime of
outstanding contributions to the science of psychology. Below are this
year's honorees, who will give addresses during the convention. ...

James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award

Edwin A. Locke
University of Maryland, College Park
Building a Theory of Goal Setting by Induction

Recent Comments:
I went to U of MD at College — by John M Newnham on Fri, 2006-04-28 18:34
> Building a Theory of Goal — by PhilipC on Fri, 2006-04-28 06:49
There was a similar award — by Mike_M on Fri, 2006-04-28 04:25

( categories: )

Meanwhile, back in Colonial New Zealand...

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-04-27 09:05


On Kiwi blog watch, I noticed Lindsay Mitchell's words...

Emotions are running very high on TV One's Eye to Eye as Hone Harawira and Lindsay Perigo go head-to-head over banning tobacco. Hone says tobacco came with colonisation and Perigo says so did cars, refrigerators and tvs.


( categories: )

Objectivism in China

Julian Pistorius's picture
Submitted by Julian Pistorius on Thu, 2006-04-27 05:48

I had an odd idea... Then I searched on Google for Ayn Rand and China.

http://www.danwei.org/media_and_advertising/the_fountainhead_in_chinese_tr.php

http://www.newsobserver.com/666/story/426149.html

(Scroll down to the mention of Atlas Shrugged)

This could be interesting... Smiling

Any experts on Chinese society here?

Recent Comments:
Tim and Dan,The way I — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 23:21
Couldn't Be Right — by Dan Edge on Thu, 2006-04-27 15:37
Atlas sales second only to bible? — by Tim S on Thu, 2006-04-27 13:22

( categories: )

Forever Wagnerian

Tim S's picture
Submitted by Tim S on Thu, 2006-04-27 00:42

Last weekend I went to Goetterdaemmerung, Part IV of Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Royal Opera House. This was the same production group that produced Part III last year and which I wrote about on SOLOHQ.

I came out of that concert hall seriously wondering how I could ever going go back to the three minute wonders of the rest of the opera world after that. I can't get over the feeling that Wagner is for people who like their passion to last ALL NIGHT LONG. And if the crowd came out thinking they had been through a marathon session, it was because they had - 4 hours, 45 minutes of unrelentingly intense music (plus 1.5 hours of intervals).

Recent Comments:
Wagner bug — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-04-27 03:45

( categories: )

Protest for Free Speech

Mike_M's picture
Submitted by Mike_M on Wed, 2006-04-26 22:48

Over at The Rule of Reason, the blog of The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, Nick Provenzo proposes a protest in Washington D.C. in defense of free speech. I think this is a great idea. Go check out his post and give him some support if you like the idea.

Recent Comments:
He's Right — by Prima Donna on Thu, 2006-04-27 02:56
Mike — by Dan Edge on Thu, 2006-04-27 02:43
Oh Oh! I thought of — by Mike_M on Thu, 2006-04-27 02:26

( categories: )

The Real Friends and Enemies of Wage Earners: An Intellectual Challenge to the Left

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Wed, 2006-04-26 20:14

The reaction to my article on the United Automobile Workers and GM , confirms how many people—namely, "liberals," "moderates," socialists, communists, syndicalists, "mutualists" and others—believe that businessmen and capitalists are the enemy, and labor unions and labor legislation, the friend, of wage earners. This is an enormous error, with devastating consequences. The integration of Austrian and Classical economics carried out in Chapters 11 and 14 of my book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics proves the exact opposite of this belief. It proves that businessmen and capitalists are the friend, and labor unions and labor legislation, the enemy, of wage earners.

Recent Comments:
Another fine article — by Cubius on Mon, 2006-05-01 00:19

( categories: )

Sunny Days ahead for SOLO

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-04-26 03:29

I find the SOLO site to be very impressive, with so many tools for communication. Props to the team.

I am coming to the faith that a truly free site (which SOLO now mostly is due to the light touch that is Linz's genius) may be like a map of the world.

Looking out through the SOLO window on my monitor, I do believe that the varied strands of Rand-influenced thinkers and actors and scholars can build whatever communications they wish, here, through the window.

A rather clownish person like me can retire to a blog -- a small, blue-ish pink, flickering window -- post occasional image-laden observations, experiment with different tones and tonics, accept essay commissions from my best critics, spend more time listening to music and working in the real world.

Another person can inhabit the chatbox, or pepper popular threads with machine-gun one-liners. Yet another person can diligently apply her labour to expanding analysis in one of the less-read threads . . . and so on.

It is a bit like a map, an index, a window on the world, this box on my table, this SOLO box: yes, there are great continents, one dark, one light . . . but there are also smaller homelands, high mountain passes, navigable seas of long sweeping sands and intricate fjords and more; island redoubts, outposts and entrepots; vast archipelagos of opinion spattered like light across the surface of the globe . . .

Recent Comments:
Come on, William — by James Heaps-Nelson on Tue, 2008-01-22 03:37
"The Punch and Judy allure." — by William Scott Scherk on Mon, 2008-01-21 03:45
Confesso Vobis — by Ted Keer on Sun, 2007-01-21 06:08

( categories: )

Dialectical Dishonesty

DianaHsieh's picture
Submitted by DianaHsieh on Wed, 2006-04-26 00:57

Chris Matthew Sciabarra is best known as the "dialectical libertarian" scholar of Ayn Rand's philosophy. He is the editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (JARS), the author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, and the co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. For many years, Chris was also a friend of mine, a rare source of support and encouragement. He particularly invited me to submit a proposal for Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, an essay that ultimately became my first professional publication. He wrote a letter of recommendation for my application to CU Boulder's graduate program in philosophy. He enthusiastically supported my work. He generously offered me professional advice. We spoke repeatedly on the phone about my overwhelming unhappiness with The Objectivist Center (TOC), often at great length. At least in private, he supported my eventual disassociation from that organization, albeit with some reservations about my so thoroughly burning my bridges. All in all, I have well over 400 personal e-mails between us in my archive. We spoke on the phone probably around 15 times but never managed to meet in person. After my February 2004 disassociation from TOC, however, Chris and I became increasingly estranged. We formally parted ways in August 2005 on apparently cordial terms. At that time, I told him I would not publicly attack him or his work out of consideration for our past friendship.

Recent Comments:
Still just blows my mind. — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-05-29 02:03
Which Nathaniel Branden's "own?" — by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-05-29 01:58
Amazing — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-05-29 00:57

( categories: )

Direct Democracy

Julian Pistorius's picture
Submitted by Julian Pistorius on Wed, 2006-04-26 00:17

I had an interesting chat with a friend on AIM this morning... Here is the log:

--start--
Friend: morning
Julian: Morning! Smiling
Friend: ever heard of Direct Democracy?
Julian: Yup.

Recent Comments:
Rough-enough figures are — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-07-10 14:29
Rick — by Fraser Stephen-Smith on Tue, 2007-07-10 13:58
Oh come on now — by Rick Giles on Thu, 2007-07-05 14:57

( categories: )

War. What Is it Good for?

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-04-25 23:05

Yesterday's Anzac Day commemorations here in New Zealand and Australia brought many reflections on the nature of war. Here very briefly, is mine.

War is immensely brutal, intensely destructive, utterly brutal and heart-breakingly tragic for all involved. War is horrific. Wars very rarely have winners, only those who have lost the least. War, as The Age said yesterday, "is a dangerous and terrible thing, which should only ever be seen as a last resort."

Recent Comments:
Rick, I got a question for you — by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-27 13:39
Adults are trying to talk, — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-04-27 10:50
Phew — by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-04-27 08:38

( categories: )

Pork sausages with fennel seeds

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-04-25 01:51

Take some plain pork sausages, and gently pan-fry them (low heat, over a long time - browning rather than charring) in a little olive oil and a generous sprinkling of fennel seeds.

That's it really Smiling The idea is that the juices from the sausages combine with the fennel and olive oil to produce a nice coating for the sausages, which gradually browns and sticks the fennel to the skins. Mmmmmmm .........

I discovered this a few hours ago while trying to think of something to do with a bunch of pork sausages, given the dismal weather (I originally had a barbeque planned). Just prior to posting this, I did a quick Google search and discovered that fennel is a popular ingredient to combine with Pork - so much so that I'm convinced I'd heard of the combination before, and filed it away in my subconscious for a rainy day (quite literally).

Recent Comments:
Our debate — by Rex Wilkinson on Mon, 2006-06-26 04:32
Darling... — by Prima Donna on Tue, 2006-04-25 04:19

( categories: )

The Two LPs

Julian Pistorius's picture
Submitted by Julian Pistorius on Tue, 2006-04-25 00:28
The Two LPs

Leonard Peikoff and Lindsay Perigo

Recent Comments:
You gotta start asking — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-05-29 04:36
Wow! — by 0 on Mon, 2007-05-28 06:54
Inquiring Minds Want to Know — by PhilipC on Tue, 2006-04-25 19:06

( categories: )
Syndicate content