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Force

#111: Sept. - Nov. 2012 (Fiction)
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Robert Tulip
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Ayn Rand wrote:A man’s rights are not violated by a private individual’s refusal to deal with him.
Okay, then Rand is a racist and a liar. A liar because she claims not to be racist, and a racist because this statement quoted here legitimises rampant discrimination and prejudice. Just imagine, someone walks up to the ticket booth at Taggart Transcontinental, and is told 'no we won't sell you a ticket because you are black'. To say this is not a violation of a right to equal treatment under the law is a betrayal of reason and morality.
doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law.
More bizarre Rand rhetoric. Germany bans Holocaust Denial. The USA bans promotion of pedophilia. Israel bans promotion of suicide bombing.
Just as we have to protect a communist’s freedom of speech, even though his doctrines are evil, so we have to protect a racist’s right to the use and disposal of his own property.
Freedom of speech only goes so far. Slander and incitement to violence are not protected. And anyway, Rand's analogy between speech and action is fallacious. You cannot legislate to prevent people holding private opinions, but you can legislate to prevent these opinions being implemented in a firm's dealing with the general public.
Private racism is not a legal, but a moral issue—and can be fought only by private means, such as economic boycott or social ostracism.
The state implements consensus morality of the community through law. Rand's distinction between law and morality is farcical. When a society considers behaviour extremely immoral, such as murder or rape, it legislates to punish and prevent it. What Rand is saying here is that the moral turpitude of overt racism is not serious enough to deserve punishment by the law. That is a racist attitude on her part.
You cant force anyone to deal with someone that they do not want to, period. Whether for irrational reason or for rational ones, the government cannot force you to deal with them, hire them, sell to them, etc. The government cannot hold racist views, cannot prescribe racist laws (like quotas, affirmative action, etc), cannot force men to deal with someone they do not wish to deal with, etc.
More farce. Governments have power to permit a company to trade on condition that the company obeys the law. If the law says you cannot put up a sign in your shop saying 'no blacks', the government can prevent you trading with such a sign in place, and will shut down your business if you insist on a racist policy.

The government does not force you to trade, but it says if you wish to trade you must do so within the law.

Product quality standards are a similar example. The government cannot force you to make good quality products, but it can prevent you from selling shoddy or deceptive merchandise.
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tbarron
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Mr. A, quoting Ayn Rand wrote:but doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law.
If I understand correctly, objectivists want transactions among businesses and individuals to be governed by the doctrine of laissez faire capitalism. I assume that implementing this would involve passing and enforcing laws. Yet Rand herself says doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law. How's this going to work?!
Mr. A wrote:In LFC, no ones rights are violated by government, but protected. The government would be constitutionally limited to protect individual rights. So if a person steals your money, that violates your property right, and you could have police, and criminal justice system to go to, or if a business commits fraud against you, all kinds of ways individual rights can be violated, which would still likely happen inLFC, but the government is not suposed to violate them, only recognize, uphold, protect them, have police, courts, rule of law as a way and means of doing so.
Mr A wrote:Rand:
Any group or “collective,” large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members.
The government is a group, too. It's just a collection of individuals, with different beliefs and commitments and vulnerabilities. Who is going to ensure that the individuals who make up the government follows the rules of LFC? Who is going to make sure the richest people don't buy the legislators and executive policy makers and judges to get the outcomes they want?

You say "the government is not supposed to violate [individual rights], only recognize, uphold, protect them...." But there have been corrupt government officials since we started having governments. The government (that, is, the individuals who make up the government) clearly can't always be trusted to do the right thing. Even if I agreed with you that LFC was "the right thing", I don't think that implementing an LFC-based government would be "the right thing" because governments are not trustworthy.

The best we've been able to achieve is a government of rivals that more or less traffic jams itself so it can't do anything too terrible.
Tom
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Mr A
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Robert Tulip wrote:
Ayn Rand wrote:A man’s rights are not violated by a private individual’s refusal to deal with him.
Okay, then Rand is a racist and a liar. A liar because she claims not to be racist, and a racist because this statement quoted here legitimises rampant discrimination and prejudice.
That is a totally unsupported claim. Both quotes show otherwise. She is not a racist. She is not a liar. Nothing in those quotes of hers makes her either one of those. What it does make her: not a racist, and a protector of property rights, as in the use and disposal of one's property, and that you cannot force men to deal with someone that they do not want to deal with.

If you disagree Rand and would like to force people to hire people they don't want to, sell to people they don't want to trade with, then that's your right to hold such a view.

Would you call her a communist, too? If you do, like you calling her a racist, you are totally misrepresenting her view:

Rand:
Just as we have to protect a communist’s freedom of speech, even though his doctrines are evil, so we have to protect a racist’s right to the use and disposal of his own property.
She is not advocating communism or racism, just upholding individual rights, as such. Freedom of speech, and property rights, and the trader principle, voluntary association, etc.

If you disagree with her view, that's fine. But you cannot claim she is a racist, there is no way of you to support such a claim. By your logic, anything that the freedom of speech allows, one is an advocate of: any one talking irrationally, talking about communism, racism, religion, etc. you do not automatically become an advocate for, what you are advocating is the freedom of speech, as such. You can excercise your freedom of speech, in opposing such views, as she clearly does, but that does not mean she is religious, or a communist, or a racist.
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
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Mr A
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tbarron wrote:
Mr. A, quoting Ayn Rand wrote:but doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law.
If I understand correctly, objectivists want transactions among businesses and individuals to be governed by the doctrine of laissez faire capitalism. I assume that implementing this would involve passing and enforcing laws. Yet Rand herself says doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law. How's this going to work?!
No, she is talking about forbidding racist laws, policies, in the prescribing of the law. People are free to hold racist views, religious views, but you cannot force those views on others through government laws.

However, if you violate anothers rights because of such views, racist: like killing a black person because they are black, or religious: bombing abortion clinics, flying commercial planes into skyscrapers, you are violating rights and there are laws against the violation of rights.

Rand:
It is proper to forbid all discrimination in government-owned facilities and establishments: the government has no right to discriminate against any citizen. And by the very same principle, the government has no right to discriminate for some citizens at the expense of others. It has no right to violate the right of private property by forbidding discrimination in privately owned establishments.
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
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Interbane
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MrA wrote:It is the governmental interference, regulation of the economy, violating mans rights, and the ideas behind doing all that, that really is the root of evil.
It doesn't happen in a vacuum. Private interests drive the interference, and regulatory rent-seeking opportunities. The root of all evil are the base drives of man. Greed, lust, jealousy. When they manifest in rent-seeking opportunities, it is false to accuse the "government" as the root, rather than "human nature" as the root.

Don't allow your conceptualization of causation to stop at the point that's most convenient for you. Follow it as far as you can. There are Market Failures(with capital letters) that result from man's baser drives. Government is required to correct these, because nothing else will.

Our species needs a common vision and purpose. What would the unthrottling of the economy lead to? A broken Earth, that's what. We must regulate ourselves, because if we are left unregulated, our baser drives will influence every level of social progress, and we'll be worse for it.

Often times, the most economical (LFC) solution is also the most destructive solution. We will burn through our resources, unregulated, with no vision of the future. The market does not have the health of Earth as it's highest priority. Nor does it have human flourishing as it's highest priority. The market is a tool for progress that is "most productive" when left unchecked. But we need to temper "productivity" with "sustainability" of our planet, as well as with the flourishing of our species. Extremism is never the right answer.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams
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Mr A- I have been ruminating on my past employment experience, which now spans many decades, and assessing private versus public ethics, at least as I have seen them. I've worked in the public sector, in the non-profit sector, in the private sector; I've been an employer, and employee; I've hired and fired, and been hired and fired; I've been a member of a big, militant trade union, and also managed a small company.

I've been trying to think of a work situation in the private, for profit sector, in which I haven't experienced some sort of lying, cheating, and/or at least an attempt to steal in some sort of way. Short of going way back to the '60s or '70s, I can't think of one. This has been modest in some cases, not so modest in others. In the other sectors, my experience has been that altruism is significantly more in evidence, as has honest dealing. Not to say there weren't inefficiencies, and sometimes bad decisions, but the overall tone was always much more inclusive, rather than exclusive and self dealing

Maybe this is not so surprising. If one says: Get the money! Now! A certain paradigm will arise. If one says: Let's think about social goals! Another will likely arise. You seem to have a fundamental view of economics, as though it flows solely from an introductory textbook on the subject, and a certain novel.

I think the elevation of the business sector to the quasi-religous image you seem to contemplate quite ignores human psychology, and the historical experience to date.
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Robert Tulip
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Mr A wrote: you cannot force men to deal with someone that they do not want to deal with. If you disagree Rand and would like to force people to hire people they don't want to, sell to people they don't want to trade with, then that's your right to hold such a view.
Mr A, I don't think opposition to affirmative action for racial employment quotas can be called racist, but allowing formal racial policies in business trading is another matter. I gave the example of a railway company having a policy not to carry blacks. Such a policy should not be legal.

It brings to mind apartheid in South Africa, where firms could have an explicit policy of not trading with blacks on solely racial grounds. My opinion is that if you say that such a policy is acceptable, as Rand appears to do, then you make yourself complicit with racism.

You argue that such complicity is not racist, since Rand is just defending the freedom of the firm to decide for itself, and would herself disagree with such a racist policy. My view is that you should look to the consequences of things you advocate. Overtly treating people as second class citizens on the basis of the colour of their skin abrogates their human rights.

Rand argues that restricting public racism is not important enough to be a matter for any legislation. If you have a reckless disregard for how such a principle will affect people, then you share some culpability in how it is applied. Governments have a right and duty to regulate business freedom to achieve social goals.
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Mr A
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Robert Tulip wrote: " Governments have a right and duty to regulate business freedom to achieve social goals."

And that is your view.

Rand does not think that the government has such a right or duty to.

That's that then.
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
- Cyril Connolly

My seven published books are available for purchase, click here:
http://www.amazon.com/Steven-L.-Sheppard/e/B00E6KOX12
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