Mike Renzulli

More About: Philosophy: Anarchism

Liberty, Capitalism, and Anarchy

No debate has taken place in the libertarian movement more than the minarchy-anarchy debate. It is almost a given that at some point in their exchanges, libertarians will debate on which political position is the correct one usually leading into whether or not it is moral to vote. Most likely any such debate on the topic will also include the argument from anarchists that government is the root of all evil.
 
Rather than debate the merits of their assertion, anarchist libertarians will instead resort to Orwellian means refusing to identify that they follow consistency as intrinsic rather than grounded in reality. The term minarchism is attributed by Samuel Konkin III in which he used minarchist as a way to smear libertarians who subscribed to limited government. Anarchists also insult minarchists with the term limited statists. But are they?
 
Anarchists assert that since government is a monopoly on force that it is only in an anarchistic society that the true exchange of goods and services can be achieved. Their rejection of government is based on the premise that it is the only entity that can use force against citizens for the enforcement of taxation, restriction of trade and personal freedoms, and creation of monopolies and unfair competition via charters, grants, and subsidies.
 
While it is true that in a free society government has a monopoly on force a proper government (like what is seen in the United States) protects individual rights according to objective, philosophically validated procedures from its constitution down to its laws and regulations. Reality and man’s nature require a government to protect us against any kind of physical aggression including also the right to self defense in the event access to government courts or police is not available.
 
The major flaw in anarchist thought is their overall claim that governments always violate the very rights they are created to defend. Therefore, as logic would suggest that governments must be abolished. Furthermore, they see laissez-faire capitalism (rather than individual rights) as the foundation of a free and industrialized society.
 
What anarchist libertarians also fail to identify is the difference between anarchism and capitalism. While anarchism is the absence or abolition of government, capitalism is an extension of individualism that recognizes man’s right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness (i.e. individual rights). What guarantees individual rights in a capitalistic society entails having a government that has objective laws and a legal system along with consistent, easy to understand legal procedures and rules of evidence. This is the legal structure the United States and many Westernized countries have.
 
To the best of my knowledge, the existence of contradictory laws, customs and rules are things anarchists still have not adequately addressed. For example, whose laws shall prevail in a contract dispute or case involving an act of fraud? What standards shall be followed to determine the applicable procedures that should govern a particular case? In disputes involving a Muslim who subscribes to Sharia Law and non-Muslim which person's legal system will govern it? Can the non-Muslim petition for a change of jurisprudence if they would prefer the case litigated elsewhere? What will be the court that will give the final decision should neither party agree with another court's conclusion? How would conflicting jurisprudence among different legal systems be worked out? By what standards would conflicts be resolved?
 
Anarchism not only lacks specifics but is also a form of faith grounded in a rejection of order, objectivity and justice. By default Anarchism results in giving a blank check for organized gangs and other groups to take advantage of a state-less order so that groups with ulterior motives can impose their will on others with little means to stop them. This also includes groups (such as communists and Islamists) who oppose the very things libertarians stand for. As far as Islamists and communists are concerned, the right to bear arms, free speech or even individual rights overall would be put on the chopping block in order to sacrifice man to the needs of their collective will.
 
In the real world Islamists have openly stated their desire to stone, kill or enslave infidels (i.e. non-Muslims). This also includes communist and socialist groups who help them and subscribe to a similar, extreme anti-life philosophy. There is no guarantee that these groups would not seek to impose their will on the rest of us should there not be a government erected in order to stop them. The beneficence of the market can never work among men whose intent is evil.
 
Furthermore and hypothetically speaking, there is also nothing to stop a terrorist who hates capitalism and freedom from intentionally infecting themselves with a deadly strain of a virus (such as typhoid or tuberculosis) in order to spread it among the populace of an anarchist libertarian enclave resulting in its destruction. You can make the argument that an armed citizenry can halt such a person from doing so but by the time patient zero is identified it will be too late. The way things are now in order for a foreigner to enter the U.S. or any other country for business or leisure, the person in question is screened by government agents which is another example of how government protects people from force and fraud. If the person knowingly attempts to enter said country has a criminal background or has an infectious health condition they are quarantined until their background or health is cleared up or, rightly, sent back to their country of origin if it is determined the person or people in question pose a threat to the rights of the innocent.
 
The end result of anarchism isn't just the rejection of objectivity and justice or the embracement of whim-worship, as author and Objectivist Amber Pawlik rightly points out it also makes man shift his primary ability from production to protection. She elaborates further by stating:
 
Man qua man lives solely by means of production. It is morally imperative that a proper political-economic system is in line with man’s method of survival. It is thus that a government should exist, whose sole purpose is to protect the private property of men. It is imperative that a government exist, ensuring man that he can live in freedom: free to produce, build, and achieve, without any fear of what his neighbors might to do those things that he has produced, built, and achieved. An individual should not have to worry about defending his property.
 
Instead of defending anarchism, anarchist libertarians should check their premise when it comes to what they advocate. It is one thing if anarchists would rather not vote because the candidates in question that are running don't meet their ethical standards or prefer to use market-based solutions to government services (such as private security or arbitration companies) in their dealings with others.
 
However, if Somalia's experiment with anarchism is any example, anarchists cannot claim the moral high ground nor that their ideas are a true reflection or embracement of justice and civilization.
 
A proper constitution (like as seen in the United States) does not impose coercive demands on the citizens, or authorize the government to violate their rights. Rather, it treats man's rights as negative requiring government agents to protect individual rights, while in a general sense leaving people free to go about their affairs. With this in mind I often wonder why anarchists object to government when such an arrangement that I describe above is neither coercive or immoral.
 
As Robert Bidinotto correctly points out anarcho-capitalism really is a demand for the right to secede from the judgments of other people concerning the validity of one's own use of force while simultaneously denying that there is a basic need to subject any use of force to objective -- that is, socially demonstrable -- standards. In other words, anarchist libertarian reliance on market forces is really an excuse for them wanting to choose their morality while, simultaneously rejecting any semblance of justice and objectivity.
 
By default anarchists treat competition and the initiation of force as rights in and of themselves. But no such rights exist and a proper understanding of the nature and source of individual rights and how they are implemented negates any idea that anarchism as an ideal or proper extension of liberty. The non-aggression principle does not negate government and, in turn, does not inherently contradict actual individual rights. Relations among humans is contextual and in the tradition of other libertarian thinkers Ayn Rand conjured it up as an ethic in Objectivism with government being a natural extension of her thought in order to protect an individual's ability to live and prosper.
 
The only contradiction is on the part of anarcho-capitalists since it is obvious they want to have their cake and eat it too demanding recognition of their liberty, while eliminating the only means of rationally determining when an individual's rights have been violated and being able to do anything about it. If libertarians value consistency over objectivity then anarchism is logically not too far around the corner. However, consistency is the only thing for which anarchists claim victory.

27 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
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Again, get out the legal dictionaries - Black's, Bouvier's and Ballentine's. Look up the definition of "tax." Then look up the definitions of the words in the "tax" definition. Then look up the definitions of the words in those definitions. You will be taken to several different understandings of what "tax" really means. But top on the list of meanings is "fraud." Tax means fraud. When you are taxed by the Government, you are legally being defrauded by them.

Comment by Christopher Broughton
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backadude: "But you didn't give your consent to your parents when you were born to them, did you? That's the point of your argument."

No, this is not my point, in fact this is irrelevant to the discussion because 1. Could it even be determined whether I consented at the moment of my conception? NO. Can it be determined whether I consent to the claimed authority of the political class now, or EVER in the past? YES. 2. Is the political class that exists in the US any different in regards to power derived from the consent of the governed than say a rapist? No, like the governing power a rapist has over a womans body, the power the political class now holds, was taken by force, nothing else. 3. Did I even exist at the moment prior to my conception? No, I did not...

backadude: "you did not give your consent before it built you roads out of the taxes you paid."

Neither did all the people who were forced to fund the construction of roads that were built before I was born, I don't see how your pointing out the States historical lack of power derived from consent of all those forced to to fund, and subjugate themselves to it, justifies their being forced. This line of reasoning is analogous to arguing that rape is justified because other women were raped in the past, well this begs the question, were the prior rapes justified? NO, they were not, so your point is nonsensical.

backadude: "I thought you should be grateful to your parents for being born to them without your permission"

Why should I be? If my parents had not chosen to conceive me, I don't think I would be to upset about it right now... I am grateful for the fact that my mother took care of me, but only because she did a good job of it, not because children just automatically owe gratitude to their parents for choosing to conceive, if they had conceived me, and abandoned me (like my deadbeat dad), or neglected, or abused me (like the political class does), I would not be grateful to THEM for anything, though I may be happy to go on existing.

backadude: "just as you should be to the State that built you roads without your consent."

I should not be grateful for criminal acts being committed against me, extortion is a violation, not a blessing, if I come over to your house and wash your car, then give you a bill to pay, backed by potentially lethal force should you decide to resist my "tax," would you consider your clean car a blessing? If you did, then there would be no violation, but in my case, I do not consider extortion a blessing.

backadude: "Now because you did not give your consent, what are you going to do ... sue them, or kill them? [ -- just to highlight this distorted thinking]."

In the case of the political class, if I could, I would, and if I ever devise of a way to sue them, or kill them, I will, but this will be a difficult task, that is the nature of class struggle.

backadude: "Now let's go back to this juvenile tantrum of yours ...You said -- I didn't pay [your tax], I was robbed. Robbers don't just give you your money back when you ask for it. Maybe you didn’t ask for it. If you really, really believed you were robbed, try … ask for your money back. Not just say it ... do it. Then come back to me. Maybe I can help you nail this Robber in the court of law. Okay? But you have to calm down, think about it, and do it. In the meantime, take your pills, and relax. Good for a rising BP. Hey, I have a good heart for people like you. No offense intended, buddy. I give you and you give me five!"

No thanks, I don't negotiate with terrorists...

Comment by Trevor Peck
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"a government that has OBJECTIVE laws and a legal system along with CONSISTENT, EASY TO UNDERSTAND legal procedures and rules of evidence. This is the legal structure the United States and many Westernized countries have. " (emphasis added)

Terribly sorry I couldn't read the rest of your article. The tears of laughter after this assertion obscured my vision.

Comment by Anonymous
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To Chris ...You asked and thou shalt be given ...

Is the government our parent in your mind? No. But you didn't give your consent to your parents when you were born to them, did you? That's the point of your argument. That's your point why you kick the bucket against the State -- you did not give your consent before it built you roads out of the taxes you paid. I thought you should be grateful to your parents for being born to them without your permission, just as you should be to the State that built you roads without your consent. Now because you did not give your consent, what are you going to do ... sue them, or kill them? [ -- just to highlight this distorted thinking].

Now let's go back to this juvenile tantrum of yours ...You said -- I didn't pay [your tax], I was robbed. Robbers don't just give you your money back when you ask for it. Maybe you didn’t ask for it. If you really, really believed you were robbed, try … ask for your money back. Not just say it ... do it. Then come back to me. Maybe I can help you nail this Robber in the court of law. Okay? But you have to calm down, think about it, and do it. In the meantime, take your pills, and relax. Good for a rising BP. Hey, I have a good heart for people like you. No offense intended, buddy. I give you and you give me five!

Comment by Christopher Broughton
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"Chris, I thought Bakadude was only playing"

This is not playing, this is ad hominem: "This looks like a bum quote coming from an irresponsible ingrate mind"

"Let’ s say, there are so many things in life that is good for you or that happened to you – that you should be thankful -- which you were not asked first so that you would give your "consent" or refuse to give your "consent". Like when you were born to your mother. Should you give your "consent" first before anybody decides that you should be born?"

Is the government our parent in your mind?

"Since you did not give your consent when the State used the tax you paid"

I didn't pay, I was robbed. Robbers don't just give you your money back when you ask for it.

Comment by Anonymous
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Chris, I thought Bakadude was only playing with you when he said you are a "genius" …

I thought you have a fairly good idea what he meant when he said to you that "An apple is love … when a Chiquita says to you that you are the apple of my eyes." But you still insist that an apple is not love, could never be love, cannot ratify, agree, understand that it is love when a Chiquita says to you that you are the apple of her eyes. So what I can do to help you?

Let’s say, there are so many things in life that is good for you or that happened to you – that you should be thankful -- which you were not asked first so that you would give your "consent" or refuse to give your "consent". Like when you were born to your mother. Should you give your "consent" first before anybody decides that you should be born?

Okay, this may not register to you or it is too much for your intellectual antennae to catch if you have any, because what I am pounding on you is Metaphysical Realism – the study and/or understanding of the nature of being – and oh, boy [!]. Bakadude made a mistake of treating you like you can come up to his level…tsk..tsk…!

One last attempt to make you see where you are – you said you "… never consented to pay for the services that the State ‘provides’. Since you did not give your consent when the State used the tax you paid in building roads for you, what you should do is ask the State for the refund of all the taxes you paid, and starting today please get off the road, go drive your car in your backyard or around the prairie you owned. If you do that, I would really believe you did not fake your being a "genius", you are honest, and together we could prove Bakadude wrong! Or else, the alternative is to zip up and just stay quiet and save yourself from this unnecessary embarrassment. You gave too much information about yourself. Anyway, after this, I am deaf. I cannot hear anymore whatever you say. If you cannot zip up, please spare me from whatever comes out of your mouth.

 
Comment by Christopher Broughton
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JVdville,

Who was the first to resort to ad hominem here? Hint: it wasn't me...

Fact of the matter is, I never ratified anything, established anything, consented to be governed by the politcal class, never consented to pay for the services that the State "provides," so for the political class to demand a portion of my earnings from me, under the threat of violence, is theft, plain and simple.

Comment by Anonymous
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I am amused and at the same time quite disturbed in viewing the current debate here in Freedom Forum on the subject of taxes-taxation being interpreted as "slavery", and this rather odd belief that taxation is a State "racketeering". I enjoyed the opposing arguments, until one of the protagonists ran out of steam and resorted to bad-mouthing, calling "Statists stupid".

Of course I agree with Bakadude, and I have no doubt the American public agrees too, that one who runs out of argument, can never win the debate with a "bankrupt" or "empty" mind and in desperation resort to name-calling. Being a learned man Bakadude is that I knew, it is obvious that he is winning the public to his side when he tried to teach his somewhat confused critics a lesson that the American people are not "slaves" just because they are paying their taxes. His enraged critics missed the point by a mile when they voiced out their belief that taxation is state racketeering! Racketeering is "running a criminal racket … to make money from illegal activities. To tax is not to engage in an "illegal" activity. That could only be in the Constitution of the Planet of the Apes.

I tried to fit in also the term "slave" in the argument and found out that by definition it is irrelevant. A slave is "somebody forced to work for somebody else as a property of the Master." Slavery is a "condition of being held in involuntary servitude as the property of somebody else …" The American people are the property of no one; they are not serving anyone in "involuntary servitude". They are free purveyors of Freedom and Liberty that spread all over the world!

Those who suggested that to form a State is to engage in "racketeering" is truly off tangent, a result of really screwed thought-processing. The proponents of this anomaly have no idea how this nation became the "greatest" on the planet. The American people have to create a political entity called the "State" all over the United States and must choose which State to live and raise a family. They "united" all the States and formed the Federal Government, the strongest government the world had ever seen. In short, the American people had formed the Greatest Union the world had ever known, which is now called the United States of America – the richest and the mightiest nation on the planet. Those who "hate" the State are casualties of the marching time.

I happened to know Bakadude when I participated in the Multilateral Trade & Tax Treaty Negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations in which he headed a panel of a group of discussants. I recognize his expertise on this field after I read one of his treatises on Taxes and Taxation, "Federal Tax Policies", an assessment of U.S. policies on taxation over time. He is not a "Statist" in the sense that some people believed that a "State" is a "racketeer", he is a Libertarian that reasons out that the State is of no use if not for its extreme necessity for humans to live in a civilized world. So I think it is extremely disrespectful to attribute to him this savage remark that he is a "Statist" which he is not, and "stupid" because he is a "Statist" which by any stretch of the imagination he is neither of those.

I hope I can still look forward to witnessing more knowledgeable debates in this forum. At the same time I am disturbed by sore eyes joining in and corrupting the debate with nothing above their shoulders but their expertise in name-calling.

 
Comment by Anonymous
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One last final word for my friend from limbo ... This is your "brilliant" [I am not saying your booboo] argument from the dark side ... "If you understood what racketeering is, you would see this as racketeering, and not justify it on this basis." I just want you to know to highlight your ignorance about me [you should know who Bakadude is] that in my more than fifteen years practice of law, I have handled big cases of "racketeering" under the RICO Law at least twice on the way up to the higher courts, and you ask me if I understand what racketeering is? What about you – what have you to show me to convince me that your understanding of what racketeering is, is not just coming from the bowels of a violent street anarchy or just from the innards of your R3volutionary hatred of the State or at best, from the University of Hardknocks where all the "knowledge" you are showing off are obviously coming from? Anyway, I am sure you have nothing better to show off, and please don’t waste my time anymore. You cannot debate with someone like me who academically or educationally is light years ahead of you in every way and foolishly hope to win by resorting to name-calling when the mind is bankrupt or empty! 

 

Comment by Christopher Broughton
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Well, I see we have reached the limitations of your mind, and reasoned argumentation is not there. Farewell!

Comment by Anonymous
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"An apple is not love," – says Mr. Genius from the dark side. I say to you Mr. Genius from limbo that an apple is love, when a Chiquita says to you that you are the apple of my eyes. But I think this is too deep for you …when you have just shown to me that you are so unschooled thus so ignorant that this is beyond the reach of your cerebral nick-knack – in which case I am obliged to re-name you the opposite of your namesake which without shame, you have the audacity to pretend to be. You fooled me and the public when you pretended to be an all-knowing genius by calling Statists stupid – you a person of super knowledge that you hoped to be but could never be … till hell freezes over, or maybe until the crows turn white, whichever comes first!

Comment by Christopher Broughton
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Bakadude

You did not ask me who are the real invaders, you asked me quote: "but who decides who the "real invaders" are?" well in a market anarchy the the people/consumers would determine this by directing their financial contributions to whichever agencies they felt were doing a good job of establishing a just legal jurisdiction in that area. The possibilities are endless, for how such an agency could structure it's company policies to best satisfy the demands of the consumers for transparency and fairness. Under the statist model you and Renzulli advocate the State has no incentive to do this because you, and those that think like you continue to support their legitimacy whether they operate in a just manner or not, if you did not support their authority, you would be anarchists.

If you are not capable of explaining the difference between racketeering, and honest commerce, how can you claim that taxation is legitimate in this comment you made earlier:

"This looks like a bum quote coming from an irresponsible ingrate mind: “…taxation is slavery, and the State is the biggest Slave master in the history of the world.” If all of us with nary an exception – including the dead – pay taxes to the State, which to this juvenile ingrate mind is the “…biggest Slave master in the history of the world…”, then this anti-State wailer is the only “slave” I know that complains against “taxation slavery” [???] while enjoying driving on paved road that the State built for him out of the taxes he pays; perhaps the only “slave” moon dreamer whose grouch against taxes brought him to the edge of outer space; the only “slave” against cops and law enforces that taxes funded who calls 911 when in trouble or call the cops when attacked by muggers or hoodlum, or when his wife, his son or daughter is kidnapped, you name it!"

If you understood what racketeering is, you would see this as racketeering, and not justify it on this basis.

Comment by Anonymous
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Christ B. … you asked Bakadude this -- Explain two things for me: What is the difference between racketeering, and honest commerce?

Bakadude answers you: He had stop teaching students like you who do not know the difference between an Elephant and a Donkey. One thing you should know nonetheless, is that a Donkey is not an Elephant. So is the difference between "racketeering" and "honest commerce", whatever your point is.

You cannot define when I asked you point blank who do you think you claimed are the "real invaders" of your rights, your answer just now [see below] is "… the people who decide who makes the best cars …" [sic]. You seem to be really unaware that in the economically beaten automobile industry, to get a carrot bailout it was Obama who decided what were the best cars for Chrysler to make, for you and me. Obey … comply or else … It was not the people in the industry – and it was neither you nor I --who decided, and that makes your position a donkey that in your mind is no different from an elephant. It was not the people who can manufacture the best cars that made the decision – for heavens’ sake – it is an ideological reality you should have learned in your school days what a centrally dictated socialist economy means which Obama is trying to introduce into this country … you really don’t know? Okay, now that you know, I am done with you.

 
Comment by Christopher Broughton
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Bakadude

Explain two things for me:

What is the difference between racketeering, and honest commerce?

Then explain how the States "provision" of goods and services is not racketeering?

Comment by Christopher Broughton
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"Fine … but who decides who the "real invaders" are?

The same people who decide who makes the best cars, who provides the best cellular service, etc, etc, the market, that is to say, the people, actin in their own self interest to voluntarily direct their money to the legal jurisdiction that has the policies, and results they like the best

According to your Statist philosophy, who gets to decide? The first people to write down on paper that they "shall have power"?

That makes a lot of sense...

Comment by Ed Price
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I haven't done this lately, but it wouldn't be all that hard to do.

Look up the word "tax" in the law dictionaries, like Black's, Bovier's and Ballentine's. You might even extend your research to Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence 2d, the two major legal encyclopedias. Then, take each word in the meanings and look up the meanings of those words. Next, look up the meanings of the words in those meanings, etc..

What you will finally come to is a point where the law dictionaries will equate taxation with fraud and slavery.

Since, outside of internal Government activities, the only Federal taxes that are Constitutionally authorized in the America are import/export and interstate, isn't it about time that the people, through the state governments, prosecute people in the Federal Government who are forcing fraud on us through the IRS income tax?

Comment by Christopher Broughton
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Statist's are so stupid... An apple is not love, but that doesn't mean it is the opposite of love. The quote I quoted does not say anarchism is the opposite of love. Why do I even waste my time coming here...

Comment by Anonymous
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 [Anarchism] "does not exclude prisons, officials, military, or other symbols of force. It merely demands that non-invasive men shall not be made the victims of such force. Anarchism is not the reign of love, but the reign of justice. It does not signify the abolition of force-symbols but the application of force to real invaders." Fine … but who decides who the "real invaders" are?

"Anarchism is not the reign of love, but the reign of justice." The opposite of love is "hate". To "hate" is "the reign of justice"? C’mon, wake up!

The opposite of love is "hate". To "hate" is ""? C’mon, wake up!

"Non-invasive men shall not be made the victims of … force." In your real world, who are those "non-invasive men"? Who are those "victims". You are in limbo.

I bet you will NOT say that you are one of those "non-invasive men" if you serve in the Military or law enforcement that in order to protect you uses "force" while at the same time in your protesting mind is making a "victim" out of you. Someone has to guide you out of this limbo.

Fine … but who decides who the "real invaders" are?

The opposite of love is "hate". To "hate" is ""? C’mon, wake up!
Comment by Anonymous
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It is some kind of logical if not mental disorder for snappish Objectivists to fault Libertarians out of their total reliance on Ayn Rand’s philosophy on objectivism that turns out to be a freaking joke!

For those who may still not know, Ayn Rand, whose original name is Alissa Rosenbaum, is a realist writer-philosopher who founded a cult of followers that believe "moral truths" and "external objects" exist "independently of the individual mind or perception". I have no quarrel with this mental castle in the sky if it is not used as a weapon of attack against our belief in God, our concept of liberty and freedom and lately, to discredit Libertarianism.

I learned about Rand when I was a young student studying philosophy and letters to earn my degree as a Litterateur in philosophy and arts. I have considered her philosophical "notoriety" not only faulty but also contradictory. In the academe, I have written papers that proved Rand’s theoretical incongruity.

Objectivists attacked the existence of God. Agnostics and Atheists use Rand’s argument that "supernatural beings" are but the creation of the mind. According to them God is not real because it only exists in the mind – only one of those beliefs out of one’s own perceptions. Lately, Objectivists attacked Libertarians as government-haters who lacked objectivism in their continuing crusade for liberty and freedom. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is a joke! One is out of his/her mind to fault Libertarianism just because the philosophy of Ayn Rand happens to be maliciously incongruous. There is no point for me to extol the virtues of being a Libertarian of Reason because we all know that Libertarianism anchors on our basic concept of liberty and freedom, and mind you, that in itself, is indestructible.

True there are those Libertarians in extremis that embarrass the fundamental principles of Libertarianism, but otherwise … to pull down the whole house because a handful of ants are gnawing at the foundation is pure lunacy.

Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Objectivism is one of the most flawed contemporary philosophies that I have come across since I started life in the academe.

The first contradiction – and there’s a lot of them -- that will strike the mind of any inquisitive scholar who studies Ayn Rand, alias Alissa Rosenbaum, and her philosophical objectivism, is her obsessive reliance on "external realities rather than beliefs or feelings in literature or art …"

The principal attraction of that philosophy is this fanatical conviction that locked Rosenbaum, a.k.a. Rand out of her own metaphysical realism – compulsive faith, if you may -- in the existence of the so-called "independent truth". She elaborated this fixation – and it was not even original – when she subsumed her mind into the thinking of celebrated realists like Michael Dummett, and even Mark Twain in literature … metaphysical objectivists who posited that "moral truths or external objects exist independently of the individual mind or perception." This brand of thinking that inquires into what is "truth" is as common as a roll of toilet paper a shopper [representing a researcher in the library] would find at a grocery store. Its falsity is a trap from which hardly impaled students of philosophy and letters escape.

The problem here is this: Objectivists who demystify the mind and discredit perception cannot help but use their mind and perception to know first hand that moral truths or external objects exist independently of themselves. Otherwise if they don’t use their mind and perception they won’t know. And how can they declare with such blinding audacity that moral truth or external objects exist independent of their thinking – when they don’t know? This magnified contradiction is no longer apparent but real passed the flesh, and down deep to the bone.

As to "independent truth", it does not exist outside of the mind and perception. The dispute between the Realist and Idealist and the quarrel between the Godless and Believer on this matter has no end. But what is no longer doubted in the investigation of this philosophical realm is that the "… conception of truth hinges on reactions to the epitemic accessibility (knowability, graspability) of facts …" which, by the way, is the function of the mind.

This explains why in the academe, this kind of elementary objectivism that agnostics profess as it appears on and off in this website in particular, and in many website in general, turns me off.

In many of her writings, Rand truly believed that the "independent truth" is the only truth in the Universe. And also notice how in contradiction, she vehemently rejected "belief". Since she grew up in Russia she had fought for her "beliefs" tooth and nail against what she "perceived" as a despotic regime. And yet see how she philosophically distances herself from "belief" … how she rejected her strong "faith" that out there exists the "independent truth" outside of what she thinks! This is another sad contradiction.

Reason, then, was the only correct basis for intellectual and moral judgments …rational selfishness is the only appropriate motive for living. Ayn Rand on Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

Reason, then, was the only correct basis for intellectual and moral judgments …rational selfishness is the only appropriate motive for living.Ayn Rand on Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

This "philosophical belief" is very unrealistic to say the least, if not downright incongruous. In the real world, greed and selfishness have no place in Free-Market Capitalism. The built-in rule in free-market capitalism every market player must observe is "fair competition". Either market competitors will target and edge you out of the competition or government regulatory intervention will yank you out of the competition to restore equilibrium once the market is disturbed by greed and monopolistic selfishness or economic egocentricity of entrepreneurial bullies. Take an advance study in Economics and you will have a fairly good idea what I am talking about.

This is another sad contradiction.

This explains why in the academe, this kind of elementary objectivism that agnostics profess as it appears on and off in this website in particular, and in many website in general, turns me off.Reason, then, was the only correct basis for intellectual and moral judgments …rational selfishness is the only appropriate motive for living.Ayn Rand on Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

Reason also contradicts Ayn Rand’s life. And to me this is the worst inconsistency anyone could stumble upon when studying Rand’s contradictions.

For some "reasons" of her own, this Russian-born philosopher and her husband Frank O’Connor agreed that she becomes the mistress of her student named Nathaniel Branden [who years later became a rabid disciple of Ayn Rand’s teachings]. To live an immoral life is justified under her philosophy of "Rational Selfishness". To be sexual or erotic or immoral is solely her own "rational selfishness"… i.e., it is no one else’s business to question. Of course when Rand learned later on that Branden had another mistress, she ostracized Branden – calling him an immoral human being not fit for her love and affection. To be an amoral double-dealing artist is Branden’s "rational selfishness" that Ayn Rand had defended all along, but now attacks because it was against her interests. I grieved for Rand’s contradictory demise that left a big question mark in the mind of scholars. But dead as a cold cucumber, I buried her awkward values and incongruous beliefs in the philosophical dustbin of history.

A whole book of contradictions can be written about Ayn Rand’s surviving philosophies and beliefs. When well-meaning Objectivists like Renzulli model her rationality as a philosopher and a dreamer [she is a fiction writer in Hollywood], our study and understanding of Objectivism as a way of life becomes not only a total mess but also an intellectual joke.

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

 

It is some kind of logical if not mental disorder for snappish Objectivists to fault Libertarians out of their total reliance on Ayn Rand’s philosophy on objectivism that turns out to be a freaking joke!

For those who may still not know, Ayn Rand, whose original name is Alissa Rosenbaum, is a realist writer-philosopher who founded a cult of followers that believe "moral truths" and "external objects" exist "independently of the individual mind or perception". I have no quarrel with this mental castle in the sky if it is not used as a weapon of attack against our belief in God, our concept of liberty and freedom and lately, to discredit Libertarianism.

I learned about Rand when I was a young student studying philosophy and letters to earn my degree as a Litterateur in philosophy and arts. I have considered her philosophical "notoriety" not only faulty but also contradictory. In the academe, I have written papers that proved Rand’s theoretical incongruity.

Objectivists attacked the existence of God. Agnostics and Atheists use Rand’s argument that "supernatural beings" are but the creation of the mind. According to them God is not real because it only exists in the mind – only one of those beliefs out of one’s own perceptions. Lately, Objectivists attacked Libertarians as government-haters who lacked objectivism in their continuing crusade for liberty and freedom. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is a joke! One is out of his/her mind to fault Libertarianism just because the philosophy of Ayn Rand happens to be maliciously incongruous. There is no point for me to extol the virtues of being a Libertarian of Reason because we all know that Libertarianism anchors on our basic concept of liberty and freedom, and mind you, that in itself, is indestructible.

True there are those Libertarians in extremis that embarrass the fundamental principles of Libertarianism, but otherwise … to pull down the whole house because a handful of ants are gnawing at the foundation is pure lunacy.

Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Objectivism is one of the most flawed contemporary philosophies that I have come across since I started life in the academe.

The first contradiction – and there’s a lot of them -- that will strike the mind of any inquisitive scholar who studies Ayn Rand, alias Alissa Rosenbaum, and her philosophical objectivism, is her obsessive reliance on "external realities rather than beliefs or feelings in literature or art …"

The principal attraction of that philosophy is this fanatical conviction that locked Rosenbaum, a.k.a. Rand out of her own metaphysical realism – compulsive faith, if you may -- in the existence of the so-called "independent truth". She elaborated this fixation – and it was not even original – when she subsumed her mind into the thinking of celebrated realists like Michael Dummett, and even Mark Twain in literature … metaphysical objectivists who posited that "moral truths or external objects exist independently of the individual mind or perception." This brand of thinking that inquires into what is "truth" is as common as a roll of toilet paper a shopper [representing a researcher in the library] would find at a grocery store. Its falsity is a trap from which hardly impaled students of philosophy and letters escape.

The problem here is this: Objectivists who demystify the mind and discredit perception cannot help but use their mind and perception to know first hand that moral truths or external objects exist independently of themselves. Otherwise if they don’t use their mind and perception they won’t know. And how can they declare with such blinding audacity that moral truth or external objects exist independent of their thinking – when they don’t know? This magnified contradiction is no longer apparent but real passed the flesh, and down deep to the bone.

As to "independent truth", it does not exist outside of the mind and perception. The dispute between the Realist and Idealist and the quarrel between the Godless and Believer on this matter has no end. But what is no longer doubted in the investigation of this philosophical realm is that the "… conception of truth hinges on reactions to the epistemic accessibility (knowability, graspability) of facts …" which, by the way, is the function of the mind.

This explains why in the academe, this kind of elementary objectivism that agnostics profess as it appears on and off in this website in particular, and in many website in general, turns me off.

In many of her writings, Rand truly believed that the "independent truth" is the only truth in the Universe. And also notice how in contradiction, she vehemently rejected "belief". Since she grew up in Russia she had fought for her "beliefs" tooth and nail against what she "perceived" as a despotic regime. And yet see how she philosophically distances herself from "belief" … how she rejected her strong "faith" that out there exists the "independent truth" outside of what she thinks! This is another sad contradiction.

Reason, then, was the only correct basis for intellectual and moral judgments …rational selfishness is the only appropriate motive for living. Ayn Rand on Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

rational selfishnessAyn Rand on Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

This "philosophical belief" is very unrealistic to say the least, if not downright incongruous. In the real world, greed and selfishness have no place in Free-Market Capitalism. The built-in rule in free-market capitalism every market player must observe is "fair competition". Either market competitors will target and edge you out of the competition or government regulatory intervention will yank you out of the competition to restore equilibrium once the market is disturbed by greed and monopolistic selfishness or economic egocentricity of entrepreneurial bullies. Take an advance study in Economics and you will have a fairly good idea what I am talking about.

This is another sad contradiction.

accessibility (knowability, graspability) of facts …"
which, by the way, is the function of the mind.

that This brand of thinking that inquires into what is "truth" is as common as a roll of toilet paper a shopper [representing a researcher in the library] would find at a grocery store. Its falsity is a trap from which hardly impaled students of philosophy and letters escape.

This explains why in the academe, this kind of elementary objectivism that agnostics profess as it appears on and off in this website in particular, and in many website in general, turns me off.rational selfishnessAyn Rand on Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

Reason also contradicts Ayn Rand’s life. And to me this is the worst inconsistency anyone could stumble upon when studying Rand’s contradictions.

For some "reasons" of her own, this Russian-born philosopher and her husband Frank O’Connor agreed that she becomes the mistress of her student named Nathaniel Branden [who years later became a rabid disciple of Ayn Rand’s teachings]. To live an immoral life is justified under her philosophy of "Rational Selfishness". To be sexual or erotic or immoral is solely her own "rational selfishness"… i.e., it is no one else’s business to question. Of course when Rand learned later on that Branden had another mistress, she ostracized Branden – calling him an immoral human being not fit for her love and affection. To be an amoral double-dealing artist is Branden’s "rational selfishness" that Ayn Rand had defended all along, but now attacks because it was against her interests. I grieved for Rand’s contradictory demise that left a big question mark in the mind of scholars. But dead as a cold cucumber, I buried her awkward values and incongruous beliefs in the philosophical dustbin of history.

A whole book of contradictions can be written about Ayn Rand’s surviving philosophies and beliefs. When well-meaning Objectivists like Renzulli model her rationality as a philosopher and a dreamer [she is a fiction writer in Hollywood], our study and understanding of Objectivism as a way of life becomes not only a total mess but also an intellectual joke.

Branden – calling him an immoral human being not fit for her love and affection. To be an amoral double-dealing artist is Branden’s "" that Ayn Rand had defended all along, but now attacks because it was against her interests. I grieved for Rand’s contradictory demise that left a big question mark in the mind of scholars. But dead as a cold cucumber, I buried her awkward values and incongruous beliefs in the philosophical dustbin of history.

Branden – calling him an immoral human being not fit for her love and affection. To be an amoral double-dealing artist is Branden’s "" that Ayn Rand had defended all along, but now attacks because it was against her interests. I grieved for Rand’s contradictory demise that left a big question mark in the mind of scholars. But dead as a cold cucumber, I buried her awkward values and incongruous beliefs in the philosophical dustbin of history.
Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

 

Life without law and order, is a dream of every radical Anarchist who wants to take over the existing Government. But the more they succeed, the more they fail. You see, if rioters control the street, men and women in uniform "invaders" that they hated more than they abhor their mother-in-law" for invading their home – a paramilitary force "…dressed in black combat outfits and adorned in bulletproof vests, rifles, and leg straps holding at least two very large handguns each …" WILL TAKE OVER.

When rioters rule the streets – which by the way is the dream of Anarchists to take over America – each one of us becomes a criminal suspect as a rioter, perhaps one who had broken a glass or had busted somebody’s head by throwing stones and rocks in rage, burning and looting a store or injuring and killing a police officer and so forth and so on. Banging the door open by throwing an exploding pineapple like what happened to Guerena’s home, will be just an announced regular police’s social visit in the middle of the night.

This is what I have been writing about all along… the guru of violence like Larken Ross and his likes who are the real anarchist-enemy of the State that dreams of a state of anarchy and chaos in their misguided and violent struggle for liberty and freedom cannot and will never win. Destruction and death all around is their only "win" in a lose-lose situation.

The fundamental logic I used in my writings to support an impeccable conclusion that this kind of insanity will never succeed is that more than 300 million Americans cannot be as insane as they are at the same time!

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

 

This looks like a bum quote coming from an irresponsible ingrate mind: “…taxation is slavery, and the State is the biggest Slave master in the history of the world.”  If all of us with nary an exception – including the dead – pay taxes to the State, which to this juvenile ingrate mind is the “…biggest Slave master in the history of the world…”,  then this anti-State wailer is the only “slave” I know that complains against  taxation slavery” [???] while enjoying driving on paved road that the State built for him out of the taxes he pays; perhaps the only “slave” moon dreamer whose grouch against taxes brought him to the edge of outer space; the only “slave” against cops and law enforces that taxes funded who calls 911 when in trouble or call the cops when attacked by muggers or hoodlum, or when his wife, his son or daughter is kidnapped, you name it!

 

      This is the only sick “slave” I know that while hallucinating wants us to believe that the Constitution of the United States was founded in order to create a government that would not protect -- but would purposely -- violate our rights [!], for heavens’ sake! When one is suffering this delirium, to calm down I think it is time to take the doctor’s prescribed pills. This very ill “slave” shouldn’t missed it!

 

 

Comment by JW Williams
Entered on:

Check your premise.  How is imminent domain a protection of ones property, especially the Kelo case.  How can you say the constitution protects anyone's rights to speech when you have free speech zones.  You claim you have a right to bear arms, but you only have a right to bear the arms the government allows you to while the gunverment allows its agents of violence full auto's, shorter barrels, and gernade launchers all of which would be great for protecting one life liberty and property.  A set of laws for us and different ones for them.  I suggest Ernie give this guy a copy of Spooner's "No Treason" 

Comment by Christopher Broughton
Entered on:

Renzulli said: "The non-aggression principle does not negate government and, in turn, does not inherently contradict actual individual rights."

The non-aggression principle IS government, in fact it's limited government, it's government limited to the punishing of people that violate others, and nothing more. Libertarian anarchists embrace this. This principle is the entire foundation of libertarian, free-market, anarchist, principles. Anarchists are not against all government of human behavior, they are against ARBITRARY governance meted out by the subjective will of the political class, they do not oppose governance based on the NAP. Though I don't agree with everything he believed in, like you attempt to so with Rand, I'll quote a famous American anarchist to prove my point:

[anarchism] "does not exclude prisons, officials, military, or other symbols of force. It merely demands that non-invasive men shall not be made the victims of such force. Anarchism is not the reign of love, but the reign of justice. It does not signify the abolition of force-symbols but the application of force to real invaders." - Benjamin R. Tucker

Comment by Christopher Broughton
Entered on:

Renzulli said: "However, if Somalia's experiment with anarchism is any example, anarchists cannot claim the moral high ground nor that their ideas are a true reflection or embracement of justice and civilization."

Mike, I dare you, show me ONE shred of evidence that supports your assertion that Somalia's current situation was brought about by a philosophically libertarian/anarchist movement. Somalia is an example of what your philosophy (renzullian-subjectivism) leads to, because the totalitarian Statism you promote is unsustainable, and inevitably collapses under the weight of it's own corruption. Somalia is an example of a FAILED STATE! This is your precious regime that put Somalia in the mess that unintended anarchy is currently pulling it out of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siad_Barre Do you blame the people (that are not philosophically libertarian/anarchist in the least) for wanting to finish of a State socialist, military dictatorship? Anarchy in Somalia is the relative "quiet between the storm" of warring States.

Comment by Christopher Broughton
Entered on:

Renzulli said: "A proper constitution (like as seen in the United States) does not impose coercive demands on the citizens, or authorize the government to violate their rights." But Mike, the CON-stitution does just that, haven't you ever read it? "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes" Wouldn't this make the CON-stitution the most horrendously far reaching tax law ever devised, and therefore evidence of the biggest crime ever perpetrated in history?

Comment by Christopher Broughton
Entered on:

"The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave." This is an Ayn Rand quote from your link Renzulli, if you believed this, wouldn't you have to logically concede that taxation is slavery, and the State is the biggest Slave master in the history of the world?


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