Ayn Rand and Objectivism

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Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:46 pm

RedSun wrote:Objectivism is an entirely subjective perspective on the world based on Ayn Rand's formative experiences in the Soviet Union, when her father's business was taken away from him twice. Smile

It's amazing how easily supposed thinking people fall into the error of psychologizing. Do you think others don't see you embarassing yourself with such lame spoutings?

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Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:54 pm

hermeticist wrote:...the epistemological debate carried out by Berkeley, Hume and Kant ..."

Yes she was highly aware. She crushed them.

As to your plea for some shred of Objectivism you could stomach, how about these: Rand excoriated the combination of government aligned with big business in cartels; she staunchly argued for a woman's absolute right to control her body; she vilified conscription for military service.

These any good leftie should be able to swallow.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:12 pm

John Donohue wrote:Yes she was highly aware. She crushed them.

In your subjective opinion, she did. Wink

Rand excoriated the combination of government aligned with big business in cartels

And "any good leftie" will also inform you that no matter how much someone may excoriate it, the political establishment essentially serves as "the executive committee of the ruling class" (to quote The Communist Manifesto). The minarchism advocated by Objectivists and Libertarians shall always remain a fantasy, for capitalism is incapable of achieving genuine laissez-faire. (Rent seeking aside, capitalism requires a highly interventionist state just to remain functional.)

she vilified conscription for military service.

Why would we agree with that position? Military service should be a shared responsibility, not a career path for the economically disadvantaged—who will instead be provided with productive job opportunities under socialism.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:50 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Why would we agree with that position? Military service should be a shared responsibility, not a career path for the economically disadvantaged—who will instead be provided with productive job opportunities under socialism.

I stand corrected. Back in the old days...the OldLeft/NewLeft days, socialists were against conscription. Now, you don't mind being in favor of involuntary servitude.

I won't soon make that error again.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:58 pm

John Donohue wrote:I stand corrected. Back in the old days...the OldLeft/NewLeft days, socialists were against conscription.

You would do well not to confuse my views with those espoused by the so-called New Left radicals of the 1960s.

Now, you don't mind being in favor of involuntary servitude.

I'm in favor of citizens sharing the burden of military service. Whether or not that constitutes "involuntary servitude" by bourgeois standards is irrelevant to me; though I must confess that I find it rather humorous to read a capitalist deriding involuntary servitude.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:06 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Whether or not that constitutes "involuntary servitude" ...etc.

Socialism is so saturated on the cellular level with coercion against humans that it is no wonder you do not recognize it.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:15 pm

John Donohue wrote:Socialism is so saturated on the cellular level with coercion against humans that it is no wonder you do not recognize it.

Contrary to McCarthyite propaganda, socialism represents the abolition of the exploitation of man by man. I realize that you believe wage labor is completely voluntary and private property is a natural right, but such views cannot withstand any serious scrutiny. Spend a little time reading through the forum and you'll soon learn why that is.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:35 pm

John Donohue wrote:Socialism is so saturated on the cellular level with coercion against humans that it is no wonder you do not recognize it.

How, pray tell, will you substantiate this banal allegation? I find it highly ironic that somebody as entrenched in reactionary platitudes as you is actually attempting to project ignorance upon us. Begone with your Randian absurdity.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by RedSun on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:35 pm

John Donohue wrote:Socialism is so saturated on the cellular level with coercion against humans that it is no wonder you do not recognize it.

This shows that A) you have no idea what socialism is, B) you're a gigantic hypocrite, and C) you're sufficiently self-absorbed that you think there's something wrong with having to accept part of the responsibility for your country's and your own defense.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:43 pm

RedSun wrote:This shows that A) you have no idea what socialism is, B) you're a gigantic hypocrite, and C) you're sufficiently self-absorbed that you think there's something wrong with having to accept part of the responsibility for your country's and your own defense.

His position is quite standard amongst others who share his views. Libertarians are ignoramuses of the highest order. These creatures actually subscribe to the classical liberal idiocy regarding the contractual basis for society: that humans merely choose to interact with others on the basis of contracts. Due to their idealistic disposition, they ignore the material circumstances which govern human social formations. On second thought, I hope this clown bothers to venture forth a substantial argument, as he is one of the few non-nationalist reactionaries to grace our forum.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by RedSun on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:59 pm

We don't get many of those, do we? It's nice to have variety in our idiots.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:05 pm

I admit I am curious: what is a left-wing nationalist?

Why would you self-identify with the label Hitler attached to his philosophy?
National Socialism.

As for all the sputum on my remark about the cellular level of coercion at the heart of socialism, I stand by my observation: your fuming only confirms that it is so ingrained you have to react with hatred and name calling when directly challenged on it.

There is no such thing as voluntary socialism. If there were, you could just go out and do it, since this is still a relatively free culture. How do you intend to pursuade all humans to (somehow) form a voluntary commune? And if they did so, wouldn't it be by consent, and isn't that a contract, and couldn't any given person simply opt out of contracting to be in the commons?

Further, on the rejection of contractual social interaction: since supposedly social formations are based on "material circumstances", how are those non volitional differences to be rectified, if not with force?

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:08 pm

by the way, obviously i received the notification that my comments have been ghettoized. no problem. the exact phrase was:

into "the Reactionaries sub-forum"

I will treasure that message. Hilarious. so 1930s.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by RedSun on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:00 am

John Donohue wrote:Why would you self-identify with the label Hitler attached to his philosophy?
National Socialism.

It's a good phrase which describes what we believe, but we don't identify with it because National Socialism historically means something entirely different.

As for all the sputum on my remark about the cellular level of coercion at the heart of socialism, I stand by my observation: your fuming only confirms that it is so ingrained you have to react with hatred and name calling when directly challenged on it.

And I stand by mine: your belief that socialism is coerced so far stands upon your apparent belief that you have the right not to have to fight for your own country.

There is no such thing as voluntary socialism. If there were, you could just go out and do it, since this is still a relatively free culture. How do you intend to pursuade all humans to (somehow) form a voluntary commune? And if they did so, wouldn't it be by consent, and isn't that a contract, and couldn't any given person simply opt out of contracting to be in the commons?

By doing our best to demonstrate its superior benefits in practice, some of which is already being done. Besides, just because people are free doesn't mean they automatically make the best choices-- you're an Objectivist, I assume, and therefore an opponent of the Democrats. Do you think Americans were coerced to vote for Obama? Part of the plan is to educate them to govern themselves by the time we actually come to power.

Further, on the rejection of contractual social interaction: since supposedly social formations are based on "material circumstances", how are those non volitional differences to be rectified, if not with force?

It's called a set of laws. If you want to live in this hypothetical socialist community (which by definition would come to power by popular volition; it's how we work), then you'd abide by them. Do you consider that the rule of law is "saturated on the cellular level with coercion against humans"?

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Rev Scare on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:40 am

John Donohue wrote:I admit I am curious: what is a left-wing nationalist?

Refer to our FAQ.

Why would you self-identify with the label Hitler attached to his philosophy?
National Socialism.

National Socialism and left-wing nationalism are not at all related concepts. In fact, they constitute direct opposites. "National Socialism" was a fascist movement, not genuine socialist nationalism. If you harbored a more comprehensive understanding of historical realities beyond the narrow confines of the libertarian imagination, you would know that socialists have traditionally upheld the self-determination of nation states.

There is no such thing as voluntary socialism.

There is no such thing as a "voluntary" society, let alone voluntary capitalism. There are societies which offer greater autonomy and opportunities than others, but society itself is non-negotiable—unless one wishes to isolate themselves completely (although this would presuppose one's childhood nurturing by other people).

If there were, you could just go out and do it, since this is still a relatively free culture.

One cannot simply "go out and do it," I am afraid. Socialism requires the fundamental reorganization of the relations of social production in order to function, in the same manner that capitalism requires, most of all, the protection of private property rights. Your position is ridiculous. It is akin to asserting that it was unnecessary to transcend feudalism in order to implement bourgeois dictatorship. The history of all hitherto existing society has been the history of class struggles.

How do you intend to pursuade all humans to (somehow) form a voluntary commune?

Your libertarian abstractions are difficult to follow. You must be clear as to what you are asking. You view "coercion" as any prohibition of individual rights beyond those few negative liberties required for the faulty logic of your system to maintain any degree of sensibility. I view social decision making as a natural component of social being: the only question is how society will arrive at such decisions and implement them. Will they emerge out of democratic processes or be proportional to the quantity of accumulated capital in one's possession, for example.

I do not intend to "pursuade" all individuals to form a commune. I advocate for the deconstruction of the capitalist mode of production and its replacement with an association of free producers who work with the means of production held in common and who distribute the social product democratically.

And if they did so, wouldn't it be by consent, and isn't that a contract, and couldn't any given person simply opt out of contracting to be in the commons?

You are conflating social decision making with the vulgar conception of liberal contract theory.

Further, on the rejection of contractual social interaction: since supposedly social formations are based on "material circumstances",

Society is organically composed. Humans are dependent upon each other for survival and psychological well-being. Humans do not simply emerge out of the the state of nature ex nihilo to indulge in contractual exchanges. They are born into ties, obligations, and established institutions. Industry demands the cooperation of large numbers of people, as does virtually every facet of the modern world. No individual is ever asked whether or not they "consent" to the present status quo. Power relations, for example, are predominately contingent upon the material circumstances of history. The productive relationships extant in social formations are tremendously important factors in determining their composition.

how are those non volitional differences to be rectified, if not with force?

First, what are "non volitional" differences? There are obviously various methods to reconcile disputes between individuals or questions pertaining to greater social problems (which affect individuals). The incalculable negative externalities generated by (especially mature) capitalism's internal contradictions require a considerable state apparatus in order to operate with any degree of efficiency at all. This requires "force" in the form of enforced restrictions. Since the bourgeoisie will obviously not voluntarily relinquish their monopoly upon the surplus product they appropriate by way of the exploitation of wage labor, force is an inescapable means of attaining our ends. That is why we are revolutionary socialists.

Lastly, you must suffer from profound historical amnesia. Voluntary peasant communes were crushed by threatened nobles, peasant communities were uprooted by force during periods of sweeping privatization of land by capitalists and compelled to concentrate in urban areas, and bourgeois armies are scattered across the globe in an effort to suppress working class movements which seek to sever chains of oppression. What reality do you inhabit?


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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Rev Scare on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:47 am

John Donohue wrote:by the way, obviously i received the notification that my comments have been ghettoized. no problem. the exact phrase was:

into "the Reactionaries sub-forum"

I will treasure that message. Hilarious. so 1930s.

This is where they belong.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:02 am

John Donohue wrote:There is no such thing as voluntary socialism. If there were, you could just go out and do it, since this is still a relatively free culture. How do you intend to pursuade all humans to (somehow) form a voluntary commune? And if they did so, wouldn't it be by consent, and isn't that a contract, and couldn't any given person simply opt out of contracting to be in the commons?

This sanctimonious argument is a favorite among Libertarians and Objectivists alike. Unfortunately, it has absolutely no basis in logic. Robert Nozick put forth the qualifications which socialism would have to meet in order to be considered legitimately "voluntary" in his renowned work, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Basically, Nozick's conditions were that socialists would have to raise revenue to invest in labor-managed firms voluntarily, i.e., by acquiring loans from private financial institutions or recourse to charity, and allow the model to economically and ideologically displace capitalism. I presume you also agree to these terms.

Ignoring the fact that worker cooperatives possess structural constraints which limit their growth—thereby requiring a considerable amount of charitable donations to finance the expansion of the model (since private banks are systematically averse to lending to cooperatives)—and leaving aside the extensive impact exogenous forces have in shaping the preferences of workers, Nozick's criteria presupposes terms which needn't be accepted. In order for something to be considered in accordance with the voluntaryist ethical basis of the so-called non-aggression principle, it must not infringe upon absolutist private property rights. The bourgeois conception of private property derives from John Locke's labor theory of property (which, incidentally, philosophers like David Ellerman expanded upon to defend socialism). According to Locke's theory, the terms necessary to claim legitimate ownership of land—and, by extension, property in all external things (since all manner of material objects originate from natural resources)—is for someone to invest labor in the development of said land. ("Development" is defined rather loosely by adherents of the theory and can mean something as trivial as fencing in the plot of land.) From that initial investment alone, the land becomes theirs to homestead, cultivate, sell, and/or bequeath as they see fit. The problem, as the Marxist philosopher G. A. Cohen illustrated, is that there's no logical reason to accept Locke's terms. The land could have just as easily been viewed as common property, which the collectivity determined the use for—e.g., by developing it in common or individually (provided those individuals adhere to terms established by the community). When deconstructed in this manner, the entire edifice from which Libertarians and Objectivists argue that taxation is "theft," or that capitalism is anymore "voluntary" than socialism, is revealed for the sheer nonsense it truly is. Capitalism requires that the bourgeoisie's arbitrary conception of property rights are legally enforced. Socialism requires the same thing, ergo, it isn't anymore coercive than is capitalism. Socialism's basis in self-management further renders it the more emancipatory of the two modes of production.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:48 pm

The answer to all of the above, until and unless I have more time, is this:

"You can't force a mind." - Ayn Rand

"Coercion" means the use of physical force against someone (against their mind) to make them do something they do not wish to do or preventing them from doing something they do wish to do. "Freedom" means being free of the domination of those who use physical force to compel humans to do what they do not choose to do.

Since you disavow contractual interactions to resolve any boundary issues with the above, the only remaining choice is: anarchism or totalitarianism.

If you object to what I just said, please do it without saying "people will become wise enough to surrender to socialism so it won't be either." That would be voluntary action, which is contractual.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:06 pm

Celtiberian wrote: The problem, as the Marxist philosopher G. A. Cohen illustrated, is that there's no logical reason to accept Locke's terms. The land could have just as easily been viewed as common property, which the collectivity determined the use for—e.g., by developing it in common or individually (provided those individuals adhere to terms established by the community)

To "view" something as common property means a construct of control by a socialist mechanism. I don't know what that would be, perhaps direct democracy, a committee, you must have ideas. Unless "all human beings in the community" agree to committee decision, majority ruling or whatever, then coercion must occur: the control decision will be made against the will of some people. People are individuals. No amount of collective nouns turned into singular constructs that then are construed to act as if the will of the new borg-entity will change the fact that the lack of individual rights and private property results de facto and de jure to coercion.

Don't you also have a problem defining "community?" What if a group of people across an ocean "makes a visit" and asserts their right to "be common owners" of your group's land/etc.?

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by RedSun on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:53 pm

Every government ever results in coercion. Ours less than yours. Direct democracy via nested councils is the preferred manner, yes, and as I said, laws would be enforced as ever.

Defining community? It's called citizenship.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Red Aegis on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:21 pm

The citizenship of a community is decided upon the same way that it is for nations now, legislation.

It seems to me that you wouldn't be satisfied by any sort of contract unless it was unanimously consented to. I understand that position but do not think that this is in fact, just. This gives too much power to the individual to interfere in the affairs of everyone around them, when it comes to matters of importance. If one person decides that education should cost something and one thousand people think it should be free, I would say that the dissent should be ignored. There has to be some point at which a majority opinion exercises force upon the dissent, but that must be tempered with a constitution. I have made threads on the subject before so I won't go into them. You're welcome to review my contributions.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Rev Scare on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:42 pm

John Donohue wrote:The answer to all of the above, until and unless I have more time, is this:

"You can't force a mind." - Ayn Rand

John Locke explicated this idea long before Rand in A Letter Concerning Toleration. I do not disagree with him, but this proposition is not applicable within the context of our discussion.

"Coercion" means the use of physical force against someone (against their mind) to make them do something they do not wish to do or preventing them from doing something they do wish to do.

What is the thrust of your argument? Your notion of "coercion" is only valid if one acknowledges the legitimacy of private property. We do not.

"Freedom" means being free of the domination of those who use physical force to compel humans to do what they do not choose to do.

What you are describing is a particular concept of freedom known as negative liberty. I do not subscribe to the libertarian dogma which condemns the restriction of liberty beyond the non-aggression principle. In addition, I favor the constitutional provision of a number of positive liberties (guarantees by society) to individuals.

Since you disavow contractual interactions to resolve any boundary issues with the above, the only remaining choice is: anarchism or totalitarianism.

No, what I repudiate is liberal contract theory, not the formation of social contracts in toto. I uphold the organic conception of society.

If you object to what I just said, please do it without saying "people will become wise enough to surrender to socialism so it won't be either." That would be voluntary action, which is contractual.

What are you on about? This is entirely removed from what we espouse. We are not idealists. The class struggle cannot be ignored. In order to emancipate the working class from perpetual bondage to capital, revolutionary action must be undertaken.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:22 am

John Donohue wrote:To "view" something as common property means a construct of control by a socialist mechanism. I don't know what that would be, perhaps direct democracy, a committee, you must have ideas.

For a socialist revolution to be successful, the majority of the nation would have to agree with the notion that private ownership of the means of production and wage labor are fundamentally exploitative methods for organizing the production and distribution of goods and services, and therefore must be replaced by a system of common ownership and workers' self-management. These socialist principles would thus be incorporated into law and enforced by the state, just as bourgeois property laws currently are.

Unless "all human beings in the community" agree to committee decision, majority ruling or whatever, then coercion must occur: the control decision will be made against the will of some people.

Some degree of coercion is inevitable in any system. At no point in our exchange have I claimed that socialism is completely free of coercion, only that it isn't any more coercive than capitalism is. In other words, apologists for capitalism cannot claim ethical superiority over socialism on the basis of coercion. I did, however, claim that socialism is the more emancipatory of the two systems due to its basis in the principle of self-management.

Being a historical materialist, I believe that the developmental stage of the forces of production ultimately determines which conception of property will be hegemonic in a location at any given time. Nevertheless, from a purely ethical perspective, capitalism is simply indefensible.

People are individuals. No amount of collective nouns turned into singular constructs that then are construed to act as if the will of the new borg-entity will change the fact that the lack of individual rights and private property results de facto and de jure to coercion.

To argue that the abolition of private property in means of production necessarily results in coercion is to claim that Lockean property theory is legitimate (which is demonstrably false, as I have shown) and/or that all human beings possess an immutable and overwhelming desire to dominate and exploit one another, and private property should therefore be adopted since it enables our brutish nature to flourish. My response to the latter view is, even if it could be argued that our species possesses such ignoble characteristics (which we undoubtedly do display in certain settings), that doesn't imply that we should structure our social institutions in a manner which actively encourages those traits—as such would be committing the naturalistic fallacy. Furthermore, I don't believe that absent the ability to acquire private property and exploit wage laborers, human beings would be rendered psychologically unfulfilled. And, once again, you have not proven that the state enforcement of individual property rights is any less coercive than a state enforcement of collective property.

Socialists draw a sharp distinction between property (private ownership of productive and commercial assets) and possessions (items for active personal use, e.g., cars, computers, homes, etc.); we oppose the former but defend the legitimacy of latter. The main reason we oppose private property is because it is the basis for class exploitation. Simply put, we contend that the wage-for-labor-time contract is illegitimate because it systematically robs from workers the full value of their labor. It does this because proletarians have nothing to sell but their labor power, thereby always tilting the balance of wage negotiations in favor of the bourgeoisie. Simon-Nicholas Henri Linguet eloquently explained this in 1793, when he wrote:

"It is the impossibility of living by any other means that compels our farm laborers to till the soil whose fruits they will not eat, and our masons to construct buildings in which they will not live. It is want that drags them to those markets where they await masters who will do them the kindness of buying them. It is want that compels them to go down on their knees to the rich man in order to get from him permission to enrich him. . . . What effective gain has the suppression of slavery brought him? . . . He is free you say. Ah! That is his misfortune. The slave was precious to his master because of the money he had cost him. But the handicraftsman costs nothing to the rich voluptuary who employs him. . . . These men, it is said, have no master—they have one, and the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is need. It is this that reduces them to the most cruel dependence."
Simon-Nicholas Henri Linguet quoted in The Chomsky Reader, p. 151.

The only equitable basis for remuneration, in our opinion, is effort; for effort is the only thing human beings possess any control over. Admittedly, this ethic is not easily attainable, but it is the goal which socialism strives toward. In the interim, the abolition of the bourgeoisie's unjust share in the social product can be achieved with relative ease.

Don't you also have a problem defining "community?" What if a group of people across an ocean "makes a visit" and asserts their right to "be common owners" of your group's land/etc.?

That would qualify as an act of imperialism, and would consequently be opposed. Considering I'm not an anarchist, I believe a borderless world is neither feasible nor desirable. Nations form organically and, in my opinion, should have the right to self-determination. International fair trade and mutual aid should suffice to keep the nations of the world content. However, some people do inhabit barren lands which cannot sustain their entire population. In such instances, those unfortunate people may appeal to the nations of the world and request permission to immigrate to a more suitable location.

_________________
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by John Donohue on Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:22 am

I will try to think of anything else to say that would not be another "go-around." Frankly, I did not know that pure Marxism of this type existed anywhere. Clearly Ayn Rand is your antipole. If I post no more, you'll know I could not think of anything productive to say.

Wait. Here is my current parting shot:
"...the impossibility of living by any other means..."
to which my answer is: use your soul, mind and body to find a way to live by other means.

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Re: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:06 am

John Donohue wrote:Frankly, I did not know that pure Marxism of this type existed anywhere.

"Pure Marxism" is a misnomer in this context. Marxism is a method of analysis, not a mode of production. With respect to the socialism we advocate, fragments of it have existed throughout history, and continue to do so. For example, workers' self-management was successfully implemented in Spain under the areas controlled by the CNT-FAI between 1936-1939 (before being suppressed by the republicans and fascists), the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (albeit imperfectly) between 1950-1991, and it continues to flourish in thousands of worker cooperatives across the world today—most notably in the so-called "Red Belt" region of northern Italy, where worker cooperatives account for 30% of GDP; and the Mondragón Cooperative Coporation in the Basque region of Spain (one of the nation's largest companies). Remuneration on the basis of effort and participatory economic planning haven't been realized, but neither have they been experimented with as of yet. Again, it's a long-term objective which we strive toward.

Moreover, the laissez-faire capitalism which Libertarians and Objectivists seek has not yet existed either. Is that not the thesis of Ayn Rand's book Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal?

Clearly Ayn Rand is your antipole.

Absolutely.

If I post no more, you'll know I could not think of anything productive to say.

Fair enough.

Wait. Here is my current parting shot:
"...the impossibility of living by any other means..."
to which my answer is: use your soul, mind and body to find a way to live by other means.

Class mobility cannot justify capitalism any more than it could justify chattel slavery. (In colonial Brazil, for example, there were certain periods wherein chattel slaves could buy their freedom and become slave owners themselves.) Furthermore, not only is it exceedingly difficult for proletarians to become petit-bourgeois or self-employed due to the nature of the credit rationing system of private financial institutions—which systematically discriminate against the asset-poor in society—but it also ignores the collective unfreedom (to borrow a term coined by G. A. Cohen) of the proletariat. In other words, individual workers are free to escape wage slavery, but they're collectively incapable of doing so because there are, at any given time, only a finite number of capitalists needed in an economy. In order for capitalism to function, there must always be a class of wage laborers which the bourgeoisie can exploit in order to accumulate a profit.

_________________
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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