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The perils of Objectivism 
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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
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No, I didn't forget one, as that is not one in laissez-faire capitalim.

Again, we continue to remain in disagreement.


You're admitting your ideology fails to account for a very real and well known aspect of society. That is why Objectivism would never work in practice.

We will always be in disagreement while you hold fast to your fantasy, you don't need to repeat it as if you're making a point. Yes MrA, we disagree. I fervently disagree with you because you're wrong.

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Absolutely nothing wrong with that.


But MrA, there is something wrong with that. How can you not see it? Push the example to an even greater extreme. Someone slaving away for $1 an hour, meanwhile his boss does 1/10th the amount of work and makes $100 an hour. At some point, this injustice would need to hit home for you, and subsequently the failure of your ideology to recognize such injustices.

The extreme example isn't that far off what we would see in practice under Objectivism, either. Leverage is that powerful. However, there would be revolts long before it got to that point, and in style with our past, we'd knee-jerk to the opposite extreme of Communism or Socialism. You're espousing extremism, and it doesn't work in practice.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
JamesALindsay wrote:
The reality is that the money and property you possess is secured by a social contract made up of everyone in the society

I agree that property rights and, by association, the regulating of those rights by government, are part and parcel of a social contract. Property rights are socially constructed, they do not exist in nature, and so is government, this is all social construction. I agree also that we need a social contract to fend off chaos and to progress as a society and that contract might include property rights.

However, is not the idea of a social contract also a 'social construction'? Did we not invent the idea of social contract? So I have difficulty with the idea that property rights exist, or are secured, just because they are part of a social contract.



Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:27 pm
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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
giselle wrote:
JamesALindsay wrote:
The reality is that the money and property you possess is secured by a social contract made up of everyone in the society

I agree that property rights and, by association, the regulating of those rights by government, are part and parcel of a social contract. Property rights are socially constructed, they do not exist in nature, and so is government, this is all social construction. I agree also that we need a social contract to fend off chaos and to progress as a society and that contract might include property rights.

However, is not the idea of a social contract also a 'social construction'? Did we not invent the idea of social contract? So I have difficulty with the idea that property rights exist, or are secured, just because they are part of a social contract.


How else would you secure them? What else would they be based on? What's the alternative? "In nature" -- before any concept of social contracts or social construction or even rights, each small group of people works out among themselves what their rules will be (i.e., what their social contract is), and one doesn't usually feel any compunction about taking the property of another tribe. There is no social contract between tribes unless a couple of tribes get together and enter into an alliance. Then we might start respecting your property rights, but if you're an enemy, you don't have any.

Of course, as 21st century denizens of a developed country, we have ideas about universal property rights that are not easy to set aside to see what the world might look like through the eyes of a member of a hunter-gatherer tribe competing with other tribes and species.

Here's another thought experiment that might let us see something about Objectivism. Suppose there are only ten of us in the world. One is a millionaire, the rest of us are much less weathy. The millionaire can buy anything he wants from the rest of us as long as we agree to trade with him. The rest of us have some purchasing power, but much less than the millionaire.

Now, suppose the nine of us who are not rich get together and agree among ourselves that we will no longer do business with the millionaire. Suddenly all his money is worthless. He can't buy anything with it. According to Obj'ism, we're completely within our rights to do business or not with whomever we want. According to Obj'ism the millionaire's right to his money is absolute, but, in effect we've managed to take it all away from him without violating any Obj'ist principles. We haven't used force. We haven't taken anything physical away from him. He still has all his money, it just no longer has any value.

How would Objectivism resolve this?

In the real world, what would prevent the 99% from boycotting the 1%?


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
I fervently disagree with you because you're wrong.

I don't think I am at all, so that's that then. I still have yet to see any "perils" of Objectivism in this thread.


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Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:02 am
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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
Another peril of Objectivism: the monumental amount of wasted time spent arguing with Objectivists who cannot see the perils of Objectivism because they view the situation from the inside rather than from a relatively unbiased perspective.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
Interbane's example of a person working hard for a dollar while the executive does comparatively little and makes 100 is actually too conservative.

Executives can and do make more in a day than the line workers make in a year.

Auto workers get paid approximately $33 an hour on average based on a quick google search. That's $68,828 before taxes or other paycheck nippers.

The CEO of ford got paid $28.9 million.

So distributing these incomes across 365 days not taking into account holidays or weekends the company is paying these people:

$188.57 for the factory worker a day
$79,178.08 for the CEO each day.

That's 115% of the factory worker's pay for the whole year in one day.

So while the CEO is making $100, the factory worker is making $0.24.
Two dimes and four pennies vs a benjamin.

Does this seem skewed yet?

Is it even possible that the CEO has contributed more to his company in one day of sitting in meetings than the factory worker has in an entire year of creating the product that the company sells?


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

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Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:46 am
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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
James, you are a mathematician.

Do!...

...numbers!


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:48 am
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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
I think the numbers you're asking me to do are going to be impossible to quantify and dependent upon someone's entire paradigm of thought. To wit, you are asking me if it's possible that the CEO is contributing 115% more in a day than his typical worker does in a year (for more fun, btw, run these numbers for Wal*Mart). How do you measure that?

An Objectivist (watch, Mr. A will be all over it in no time) will ramble on about creating value, etc., because his paradigm is inherently tipped toward the capitalist. Specifically, an axiom (if implicit) of Objectivism via its acceptance of pure and laissez-faire capitalism, is that value is produced via capital, which is defined by someone's property rights. So the worker, who possesses very little capital here (meaningfully only his labor), is contributing very, very little to the company, while the CEO who has via whatever means accrued the capital to own the company is therefore merely extracting value from his accrued capital. Indeed, it would be easy for the Objectivist at this point (or any hard-line capitalist) to argue that without the capital secured by the CEO's property rights, the worker would have less opportunity to apply his capital (labor) and thus both are winning. This would be rationalized by some discussion of risk, that the CEO has more to lose (not relatively speaking, only absolutely, and so this is specious and based upon yet another oversimplistic understanding of reality--again and again we see how it is a teenager's ill-formed reasoning process).

This is, of course, a bullshit perspective that entirely ignores the realities of a capitalist system (and, if one goes there, who actually carries bigger risk--hint: it's actually the poor person, who has so much shorter a distance to fall to utter disaster, absolutely speaking and proportionally speaking), which are what you are trying to point out to him. The problem is that his mental framework is now impervious to seeing the evidence that you're providing as meaningful.

Objectivists are faith-heads every bit as nutty as the Westboro Baptists. Watch the knee-jerk to that! (What it will contain is utterly predictable, too.) The fun part is that Objectivists are actually split on the issue of whether or not they can be religious. I'd say it twists them up, but part of the package of being a faith-head in anything is being able to juggle extreme cognitive dissonance, so it probably doesn't.

Hmm... that might make a good definition for someone's religious/ideological capacity: their cognitive ability to juggle cognitive dissonance. I think that might already make a definition for sociopathy, though.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
And in my observation, many in management, even quite high up, do not contribute much in the way of value. Many management decisons are not rocket science, and are much less arduous when tedious details can be assigned to subordinates. Work is much less stressful when one can have control over one's schedule, the ability to make changes and apply creative thinking, to generally control one's environment, and not to mention have rock-solid financial security. I've experienced many that have rose to such position without basic leadership skills, and more exotic credentials, such as an MBA, are fairly recent trends. Today's CEO's extract the wealth they do from society simply because they can, not because there is a cosmic pay scale somewhere that rationalizes this.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
I was just messing around, James.

It was an appeal from hapless public school america to work the wizardry of math.

"What do you got there, numbers?"

Then think about somebody's property.

Real wealth, the kind that is passed generation to generation, the kind which you do not own, but are merely the steward of, really has little to do with a person's abilities or skill. Chris Rock did a bit about it.

Rich people probably got rich on their own, or at least through effort of their own. But rich people can lose their money. Poor people can be paid enough to become rich. Rich can be temporary. Wealth is terminal. It's inherited, it accumulates regardless of what the steward of such wealth does. Bad decisions can cut into the wealth, but hardly ever would such people dip into merely being rich.

What does Paris Hilton really bring to the table when she invests money? She could buy a company and become the CEO of that company. She is completely interchangeable. It is entirely an accident of birth that she is in possesion of that wealth.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
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I don't think I am at all, so that's that then. I still have yet to see any "perils" of Objectivism in this thread.


I'm sure that you're more convinced than ever of your position MrA, that's how human psychology works.

The first and largest peril is inequality. However, inequality is a marker, a causal nexus, rather than a perilous end. The negatives that inequality leads to cannot be listed here in a single post. But let's pick one of the many at random. Education.

I'm not sure what education would look like under Objectivism, so the effects of inequality on education may actually be worse than I propose. If education is privatized, then only the wealthy could afford an education that would lead to a job that provides enough to feed a family. Generation upon generation would be stuck in the ruts of poverty, with no way out except perhaps winning the lottery, or an unexpected inheritance from distance relatives. Due to how wealth is distributed in a Capitalist economy, this means that less than 1% of children would have an adequate education for a higher-skilled job.

If education is public, then we'd see what we're witnessing today, only worse. Cuts to funding, leading to an ever greater disparity in learning between those children educated by the public system, and those educated privately. The results are the same as if it were privatized.

There's a treasure trove of information on the subject of inequality, with many books written on the subject. It's the marker that can be found in the collapse of most societies in Earth's history that fell from the heights of power.

https://www.google.com/search?q=income+ ... e&ie=UTF-8


The second peril of Objectivism that could trump inequality is environmental degradation. With the throttle removed on our consumption of resources and pollution, we'd shift even further than we already are in the wrong direction. Species would go extinct at a faster pace, smog would return, the mountains of garbage in our ocean would grow even faster, climate change would worsen, and nowhere could you find a park or any wildlife that would be preserved and enjoyable.

The third peril, which isn't as bad as the first two, is the disparity between productivity and compensation. It's already terrible. Under Objectivism it would be much worse. But we've been beating that dead horse in this thread too much for it to get through to you by mentioning it again.


Objectivism wouldn't last long as a dominant ideology. Our society would collapse very quickly, or mother Earth would take her revenge before that happened. If you can't see the perils of Objectivism, you have only your own stubborn conviction to blame.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
JamesALindsay wrote:
Another peril of Objectivism: the monumental amount of wasted time spent arguing with Objectivists who cannot see the perils of Objectivism because they view the situation from the inside rather than from a relatively unbiased perspective.


I view it active mindedly, and I have been trying to find something wrong with any of it, for many many years. I have found not one compelling argument against any of it. I had trouble not long ago understanding something in it, I thought I had finally found something wrong with it, but I was wrong, it was not.

JamesALindsay wrote:
Objectivists are faith-heads every bit as nutty as the Westboro Baptists.


We are reason-heads, we use our heads, our minds, we do not abandon reason for faith. We use logic, not ad hominems, like you. Nothing in Objectivsm's structure is accepted on faith, only reason. So your claim is totally unsubstantiated.

I have yet to see any 'perils' of Objectivsm presented in this thread.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
See.


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
Interbane wrote:
I'm not sure what education would look like under Objectivism, so the effects of inequality on education may actually be worse than I propose.


Here is a good idea of what it would look like, beside not being funded by taxation, totally privatized.

Lisa VanDamme, VanDamme Academy, who applies such an approach:
http://www.vandammeacademy.com/

See the writings of Lisa VanDamme:
http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/con ... ndamme.asp
http://capitalismmagazine.com/author/LisaVanDamme/

Lisa VanDamme’s blog, Pedagogically Correct:
http://www.pedagogicallycorrect.com/

See Leonard Peikoff’s lecture, The Philosophy of Education:
https://estore.aynrand.org/p/64/philoso ... 3-download


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Post Re: The perils of Objectivism
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Here is a good idea of what it would look like, beside not being funded by taxation, totally privatized.


Correct, over 1k a month for a child. You prove my point. Where do the millions of people who work for minimum wage send their kids? A family of five with 3 kids would cost over $30,000 a year... double what many service employees make at a job. I'm middle class, and I certainly couldn't afford that. As soon as "walmart schools" open up, kids would get "walmart educations". Now that's equal opportunity!

What of the other perils I mention? You don't respond to them, yet claim they don't exist. Is it only in your head that they don't exist? :P


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