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Sapiens
10-07-07, 11:46 AM
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metalman
10-07-07, 12:33 PM
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love your posts, sapiens, but in my view it ain't this simple. i used to believe this. then i read michael hudson, kevin phillips, and a ton of history. inspired by this site.

rand free market capitalism is a fool's utopia. in an unregulated democratic capitalist system, money concentrates to gain control over the political institutions and communications media. elections are skewed by spending differentials and sometimes outright rigged. mass perception is shaped at will. it was greenpan's rand idealism that made him the perfect tool for the fire economy elite to produce a centralized government for their interests. he tore down the regulatory framework and threw open the doors to economic planning by banks, insurance companies, and real estate interests. look where that's got us. huge deficits. asset bubbles. unfunded liabilities. debt serfs. war.

isn't this free market capitalist ideology nothing more than the flip side of equally impractical socialist idealism?

Sapiens
10-07-07, 01:27 PM
isn't this free market capitalist ideology nothing more than the flip side of equally impractical socialist idealism?

Yes.

The reality is that we are all born with different abilities and that is what makes this world what it is.

There are those of us who understand the appropriation of surplus value from others, yet understand that uncontrolled greed can destroy the planet. There are those that do not care what the consequences are of appropriating all the surplus value produced by the ignorant masses, and therefore try to silence and subdue those that speak out against them, which is logical. I for one, subscribe to the philosophy that there cannot be either straight socialism or capitalism, but while I am on this earth I will try to coexist to the better of my abilities.

Cheers,

-Sapiens

Jim Nickerson
10-07-07, 01:38 PM
love your posts, sapiens, but in my view it ain't this simple. i used to believe this. then i read michael hudson, kevin phillips, and a ton of history. inspired by this site.

rand free market capitalism is a fool's utopia. in an unregulated democratic capitalist system, money concentrates to gain control over the political institutions and communications media. elections are skewed by spending differentials and sometimes outright rigged. mass perception is shaped at will. it was greenpan's rand idealism that made him the perfect tool for the fire economy elite to produce a centralized government for their interests. he tore down the regulatory framework and threw open the doors to economic planning by banks, insurance companies, and real estate interests. look where that's got us. huge deficits. asset bubbles. unfunded liabilities. debt serfs. war.

isn't this free market capitalist ideology nothing more than the flip side of equally impractical socialist idealism?

metalman,

Several times you have put up posts with negative remarks toward what you perceive as "rand free market capitalism" and invariably your remarks piss me off (which is my problem) because I am a long-time unfailing fan of Rand's philosophy of selfishness as she defined it. After reading most of her books and probably either failing to appreciate some of her points or now having forgotten them, the single thing from her that has served as a guide to trying to live my own life is expressed in the title of one of her books "The Virtue of Selfishness."

http://www.objectivistcenter.org/showcontent.aspx?ct=406&h=42 is an article by some dude of whom I have never heard discussing this notion of selfishness as a virtue. In it he wrote: "

For her, the truly selfish person is a self-respecting, self-supporting human being who neither sacrifices others to himself nor sacrifices himself to others. This value-orientation is brilliantly dramatized in the character of Howard Roark in The Fountainhead (http://www.objectivismstore.com/pc-20-1-fountainhead-large-format.aspx). The further elements of selfishness - the character traits that, when translated into action, implement a concern for one's own real interests - are discussed and illustrated in that work, in Atlas Shrugged (http://www.objectivismstore.com/p-22-atlas-shrugged-hardcover.aspx), and throughout Rand's non-fiction.

As I see any notion regarding interpretation of Rand's concept of capitalism, anyone who gives lip-service to participation is such an endeavor would of necessity fulfill the criterion stated in red above.

If you or anyone wishes to put forth any arguments that Greenspan or anything currently about the American system of "capitalism" comes close to being a society of individuals who meet the criteria above then I would welcome your or their times to see the arguments put forth on this forum.

Rand's philosophy represents ideal, utopic notions which I aver cannot be achieved. To take Greenspan as a groupie of Rand's and the American capitalistic system and through some sort of retrogressive thought process say Rand's philosophy doesn't work in America is pure crap, or that the current system in America has anything whatsoever to do with Rand is flatly incorrect.

Contemptuous
10-07-07, 02:22 PM
Yes.

The reality is that we are all born with different abilities and that is what makes this world what it is.

There are those of us who understand the appropriation of surplus value from others, yet understand that uncontrolled greed can destroy the planet. There are those that do not care what the consequences are of appropriating all the surplus value produced by the ignorant masses, and therefore try to silence and subdue those that speak out against them, which is logical. I for one, subscribe to the philosophy that there cannot be either straight socialism or capitalism, but while I am on this earth I will try to coexist to the better of my abilities.

Cheers,

-Sapiens

Sapiens -

Whenever I read nonchalant (and self congratulatory) references to "there are those of us who understand" which ennobles itself at the expense of the "ignorant masses", I am on my guard, as there may well be a "conceited knobblehead" nearby.

Sapiens
10-07-07, 02:25 PM
Sapiens -

Whenever I read nonchalant (and self congratulatory) references to "there are those of us who understand" which ennobles itself at the expense of the "ignorant masses", I am on my guard, as there may well be a "conceited knobblehead" nearby.

Indeed, as it takes one to know one.

metalman
10-07-07, 05:06 PM
metalman,

Several times you have put up posts with negative remarks toward what you perceive as "rand free market capitalism" and invariably your remarks piss me off (which is my problem) because I am a long-time unfailing fan of Rand's philosophy of selfishness as she defined it. After reading most of her books and probably either failing to appreciate some of her points or now having forgotten them, the single thing from her that has served as a guide to trying to live my own life is expressed in the title of one of her books "The Virtue of Selfishness."

http://www.objectivistcenter.org/showcontent.aspx?ct=406&h=42 is an article by some dude of whom I have never heard discussing this notion of selfishness as a virtue. In it he wrote: "

As I see any notion regarding interpretation of Rand's concept of capitalism, anyone who gives lip-service to participation is such an endeavor would of necessity fulfill the criterion stated in red above.

If you or anyone wishes to put forth any arguments that Greenspan or anything currently about the American system of "capitalism" comes close to being a society of individuals who meet the criteria above then I would welcome your or their times to see the arguments put forth on this forum.

Rand's philosophy represents ideal, utopic notions which I aver cannot be achieved. To take Greenspan as a groupie of Rand's and the American capitalistic system and through some sort of retrogressive thought process say Rand's philosophy doesn't work in America is pure crap, or that the current system in America has anything whatsoever to do with Rand is flatly incorrect.

was going to respond to the threat of violence but see fred fixed that. too bad because i was going to ask how threatening someone for their beliefs fits into the rand ideal of "human being who neither sacrifices others to himself nor sacrifices himself to others."

ok, greenspam isn't a model randian. so who is? ok, the usa ain't the ran ideal either. if not the usa of today or perhaps early last century then where? when? where is this mythical utopia of randians? has it ever existed? if not, ever wonder why not?

agree with the rand ideal... surely selfishness is the natural state of humans. but rand thinks humans can be self-regulating with each acting with enlightened self-interest, drawing the line at "not sacrificing others." but it is over that line that all the blood is spilled. some of the time the pushing and shoving is rational but just as often it is not. humans are selfish and also violent, criminal, insane, etc. thus a pure rand society is lord of the flies. that's why none has ever happened or ever will.

in the end, it's semantics. what's the practical difference between rand's enlightened selfishness and various previously attempted social structures based on the principle of duty to self, family, community, and country that have been around for centuries?

rand is just another in a long line of intellectuals with an impractical idea that will wind up in the same waste heap of utopia failures as the hippy communes that all fell apart because: everyone wants to lead and plan and talk and no one wants to take out the garbage.

now come kick my ass.

GRG55
10-08-07, 06:33 AM
Wow. Somebody put something in the water over there yesterday?

Jim and metalman: After reading this string numerous times I couldn't convince myself that you two are really that far apart on the spectrum.

My sense is that one of you feels that the core concepts of Randian capitalism are worthy objectives around which to strive to organise an economy and society, even if the practical execution has flaws; and the other agrees with the "Rand ideal", but feels that the execution, if left to its "pure" form, will invariably be so seriously flawed, due to immutable human behaviour, that the end result will always be detrimental to society as a whole.

Being in the petroleum biz I can't help but heap some virtual hydrocarbon on the debate (strictly with the objective of food for thought):

metalman: You raised a point about "duty". Duty implies altruism. It's been a while since I've read any Rand, but I do not recall there being any space for altruistic behaviour in her ideal society (Jim, please correct me on that if memory has failed me). Wherever I look these days, too many of our leaders, political and business, appear completely unburdened by any sense of duty - and they set the example in our societies the world over. Theoretically Rand would be supportive, but who amongst us, no matter how "capitalistic", is completely comfortable with the progression of this behaviour?
One of things that struck me on my first trip to Lagos, Nigeria was, perhaps, it is the closest thing to the ultimate capitalist society - at least so far as a working example on the planet. One does not depend on the Government for anything. If you want reliable power, you get your own generator. If you need communications, you set up your own satellite antenna. If you want security you buy a policeman. If you are an airline and you need to ensure a non-stop to Europe, you arrange independent fuel supplies and back it up with inventory in nearby Accra, Ghana, just in case (I am not kidding - and remember this is an OPEC country!). "Everybody for himself" permeates the whole place from top to bottom - there is no adequate way for me to describe it, but every trip I come away feeling I've been submerged (drowned?) in a surreal world governed by this single credo. Now, Nigeria is far, far from Ayn Rand's ideal, but in some ways is it not a living example of some of what metalman warns?
Isn't the most fertile breeding ground for socialism, capitalism perverted (corrupted?) to the point of being unrecognizable (while retaining the label)?
So what are the fertile conditions for capitalism? :confused:
As for Rand being "just another in a long line of intellectuals with an impractical idea that will wind up in the same waste heap of utopia failures", hasn't a good deal of human progress been the result of extracting and constructively applying the practical aspects of impractical ideas?Just asking...

Jim Nickerson
10-08-07, 11:28 AM
Wow. Somebody put something in the water over there yesterday?

Jim and metalman: After reading this string numerous times I couldn't convince myself that you two are really that far apart on the spectrum.

My sense is that one of you feels that the core concepts of Randian capitalism are worthy objectives around which to strive to organise an economy and society, even if the practical execution has flaws; and the other agrees with the "Rand ideal", but feels that the execution, if left to its "pure" form, will invariably be so seriously flawed, due to immutable human behaviour, that the end result will always be detrimental to society as a whole.

Being in the petroleum biz I can't help but heap some virtual hydrocarbon on the debate (strictly with the objective of food for thought):

metalman: You raised a point about "duty". Duty implies altruism. It's been a while since I've read any Rand, but I do not recall there being any space for altruistic behaviour in her ideal society (Jim, please correct me on that if memory has failed me). Wherever I look these days, too many of our leaders, political and business, appear completely unburdened by any sense of duty - and they set the example in our societies the world over. Theoretically Rand would be supportive, but who amongst us, no matter how "capitalistic", is completely comfortable with the progression of this behaviour?
One of things that struck me on my first trip to Lagos, Nigeria was, perhaps, it is the closest thing to the ultimate capitalist society - at least so far as a working example on the planet. One does not depend on the Government for anything. If you want reliable power, you get your own generator. If you need communications, you set up your own satellite antenna. If you want security you buy a policeman. If you are an airline and you need to ensure a non-stop to Europe, you arrange independent fuel supplies and back it up with inventory in nearby Accra, Ghana, just in case (I am not kidding - and remember this is an OPEC country!). "Everybody for himself" permeates the whole place from top to bottom - there is no adequate way for me to describe it, but every trip I come away feeling I've been submerged (drowned?) in a surreal world governed by this single credo. Now, Nigeria is far, far from Ayn Rand's ideal, but in some ways is it not a living example of some of what metalman warns?
Isn't the most fertile breeding ground for socialism, capitalism perverted (corrupted?) to the point of being unrecognizable (while retaining the label)?
So what are the fertile conditions for capitalism? :confused:
As for Rand being "just another in a long line of intellectuals with an impractical idea that will wind up in the same waste heap of utopia failures", hasn't a good deal of human progress been the result of extracting and constructively applying the practical aspects of impractical ideas?Just asking...

My problem for four days was my DSL was screwed up and tending towards lack of patience, I was continualy badly pissed off, and I chose to take some of that out toward metalman after wife went to ER to have her trauma evaluated.

Society is composed on individuals, and if individuals even knew about Rand's notions of selfishness, it seems to me there are too few who are essentially honest to the degree that would qualify objectively as placing them in the category of "self-respecting" individuals. Not being a crook, I don't know how crooks rationalize their "self-respect," and perhaps the notion of "self-respect" is not subject to a universal measure--as whatever comprises the notion of "self-respect" I believe requires some code of morality and who is to say which code is correct?

If anyone wishes to mention Rand capitalism as some sort of "ideal" society, any such discussion is totally useless unless all the capitalists were individuals who--to my thinking for this discussion--fulfilled the definition of "selfishness" as I initially offered above. I'm not sure many individuals can meet that definition and surely society being composed of millions of people cannot.

For anyone to take Alan Greenspan, despite his apparent history of whatever it was with Ayn Rand, and say anything he has done perhaps in his entire life (but that is purely conjecture) is a demontration of Rand's ideals is way off base I believe, and certainly his behaviors as FOMC has nothing to do with Rand's philosophy except perhaps to provide an example of one who is not given to "selfishness" as defined by Rand.

Personally I believe if a person is "selfish" in the Rand sense, it is a good.

GR, you are correct, for Rand "altruism" sucked.

jk
10-08-07, 01:09 PM
"human being who neither sacrifices others to himself"

this phrase contradicts the definition of "selfishness" as it is ordinarily construed:

The quality or state of being selfish; exclusive regard to one's own interest or happiness; that supreme self-love or self-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regarding those of others. [emphasis added]
http://www.answers.com/topic/selfishness

randian selfishness is therefore described as "enlightened," i.e. an enlightened self-interest includes the awareness that one's own happiness is in some measure dependent on the happiness and well-being of others. in the real world as i see it, however, talk of the virtue of selfishness rarely includes the "enlightened" piece, and instead becomes a justification for exploitation, greed and narcissism.

Jim Nickerson
10-08-07, 01:22 PM
"human being who neither sacrifices others to himself"

this phrase contradicts the definition of "selfishness" as it is ordinarily construed:

The quality or state of being selfish; exclusive regard to one's own interest or happiness; that supreme self-love or self-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regarding those of others. [emphasis added]
http://www.answers.com/topic/selfishness

randian selfishness is therefore described as "enlightened," i.e. an enlightened self-interest includes the awareness that one's own happiness is in some measure dependent on the happiness and well-being of others. in the real world as i see it, however, talk of the virtue of selfishness rarely includes the "enlightened" piece, and instead becomes a justification for exploitation, greed and narcissism.

Rand's selfishness,as I have always understood it, is the reason individuals should do things is because it simply offers them satisfaction, BUT, in their seeking satisfaction and gratification they should not do so at the expense of others. When one does things for one's own satisfaction and gratification without respect to the cost to others, ie, exhibits greed or exploitation, it would negate the individual's upholding the notion of self-respect. To me this all gets back to the honesty an individual has with regard to introspection. If a person is capable of doing whatever is the "right thing" and does so for whatever reasons (rand's selfishness or Judeo-Christian morality or any other code of morality), then whether or not others are happy is irrelevant. We do not control others, perhaps only ourselves.

metalman
10-08-07, 09:36 PM
ADVICE FOR ANYONE MOVING TO TEXAS

1. Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later
how to use it.

2. Just because you can drive on snow and ice does not mean we
can. Just stay home the two days of the year it snows.

3. If you do run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in
the cab of a four wheel drive with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain
will be along shortly. Don't try to help them. Just stay out of their
way.
This is what they live for.

4. Don't be surprised to find movie rentals & bait in the same store.

5. Remember: "Y'all" is singular. "All y'all" is plural. "All
y'all's" is plural possessive.

6. Get used to hearing, "You ain't from around here, are you?"

7. If you are yelling at the person driving 15 mph in a 55 mph
zone, directly in the middle of the road, remember, many folks
learned to drive on a model of vehicle known as John Deere, and this is
the proper speed and lane position for that vehicle.

8. If you hear a redneck exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this!" Stay
out of his way. These are likely the last words he will ever say.

9. Get used to the phrase "It's not the heat, it's the humidity".
And the collateral phrase "You call this hot? Wait'll August."

10. There are no delis. Don't ask.

11. In conversation, never put your hand on a man's shoulder when
making a point, especially in a bar.

12. Chili does NOT have beans in it.

13. Brisket is not 'cooked' in an oven

14. Don't tell us how you did it up there. Nobody cares.

15. If you think it's too hot, don't worry. It'll cool down-in December.

16. We do TOO have 4 Seasons: December, January, February, and Summer!

17. A Mercedes-Benz is not a status symbol. A Ford F-150 is.

18. If someone tells you "Don't worry, those peppers aren't hot"
you can be certain they are.

19. If you fail to heed my warning in #18 above, be sure to have a
bowl of guacamole handy. Water won't do it.

20. Rocky Mountain oysters are NOT oysters. Don't ask.

21. If someone says they're "fixin" to do something, that doesn't
mean anything's broken.

22. Don't even think of ordering a strawberry daiquiri. What you
really mean to say is 'Margarita.'

23. If you don't understand our passion for college and high school
football just keep your mouth shut.

24. The value of a parking space is not determined by the distance
to the door, but the availability of shade.

25. If you see a slower moving vehicle on a two lane road pull onto
the shoulder that is called "courtesy".

26. BBQ is a food group. It does NOT mean grilling burgers and hot
dogs outdoors.

27. No matter what you've seen on TV, line dancing is not a popular
weekend pastime.

28. "Tea" = Iced Tea. There is no other kind.

29. Everything goes better with Ranch dressing.
</pre>

Andreuccio
10-09-07, 12:53 AM
wife went to ER to have her trauma evaluated.



Jim

I hope your wife's alright.

Jim Nickerson
10-09-07, 01:21 AM
Jim

I hope your wife's alright.

You are the second kind-hearted person to have wished my wife well. I was joking about being so pissed off hoping to imply that I took my anger out on her physically, thus sending her to the ER, before I took out my anger on poor metalman. I didn't act with violence against wife.

GRG55
10-09-07, 11:21 AM
ADVICE FOR ANYONE MOVING TO TEXAS...



A few years ago I came across a plaque on a building on St. James Street in London marking it as the former UK Embassy of the Republic of Texas. Long live the Republic...

Andreuccio
10-09-07, 01:48 PM
You are the second kind-hearted person to have wished my wife well. I was joking about being so pissed off hoping to imply that I took my anger out on her physically, thus sending her to the ER, before I took out my anger on poor metalman. I didn't act with violence against wife.

I missed the joke/implication. I assumed you were pissed due to the stress of taking her to the ER for whatever illness befell her. It didn't occur to me you would have hit her.

jk
10-09-07, 01:56 PM
i knew you were joking, jim.

Jim Nickerson
10-09-07, 02:58 PM
i knew you were joking, jim.

jk, you ain't The Brain without reasons.

Ann
10-09-07, 06:29 PM
i knew you were joking, jim.

Ha ha......

Spartacus
10-09-07, 06:40 PM
You may also enjoy "Voltaire's Bastards'

Especially the story of how Paris got sewers. "total Free market" people AFAICT never really operate in the real world.


love your posts, sapiens, but in my view it ain't this simple. i used to believe this. then i read michael hudson, kevin phillips, and a ton of history. inspired by this site.

rand free market capitalism is a fool's utopia. in an unregulated democratic capitalist system, money concentrates to gain control over the political institutions and communications media. elections are skewed by spending differentials and sometimes outright rigged. mass perception is shaped at will. it was greenpan's rand idealism that made him the perfect tool for the fire economy elite to produce a centralized government for their interests. he tore down the regulatory framework and threw open the doors to economic planning by banks, insurance companies, and real estate interests. look where that's got us. huge deficits. asset bubbles. unfunded liabilities. debt serfs. war.

isn't this free market capitalist ideology nothing more than the flip side of equally impractical socialist idealism?

Andreuccio
10-09-07, 09:41 PM
jk, you ain't The Brain without reasons.

Uh oh. If he's the Brain, what does that leave for me to be?:(

Jim Nickerson
10-09-07, 11:24 PM
Uh
oh. If he's the Brain, what does that leave for me to be?:(

Stick around, someone will figure it out, or you can tell us.