I'm an Objectivist. Debate me.

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Appleo, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Can't pretty much anything be privatized...
    including police, the military, and even courts?
    Why give those entities special treatment?

    -Meta
     
  2. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    It's a complicated question. A person I was arguing with earlier said that you can't privatize everything. And if you have public needs, not everyone will voluntarily pay for them, which means that the public need could fail due to lack of funding.

    The police, military, and courts are mandatory because they all serve one very important purpose: individual rights. Individual rights should be available to everybody, not only to those who can afford these government protections.

    However, I do remember reading that Rand preferred to have everything privatized and voluntary if it was possible in a perfect world. But currently in the world right now, it should be mandatory that these government services are paid for collectively or else your country/society would fall apart from the first criminal. And if we have criminals running about freely, then everyone would be highly defensive, untrusting, armed with guns of their own, and no real prosperity can take place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  3. Junkieturtle

    Junkieturtle Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Can be. Yes.

    Should be? Nope.

    Society has to do what best creates a functional working society. Not living up to a specific principle just for the sake of it. Fire departments based on who can pay them is a terrible terrible way to have a functional society, not to mention creating fire and safety hazards for everybody, including subscribers.

    This goes for police protection, public sanitation, the environment and a whole host of other things.

    Living purely on principle at the cost of what is practical and sensible is a recipe for total abject failure. You go with what works best for each specific situation instead of trying to make each situation fit into a rigid set of principles. Trying to do the latter is why it's folly to try and govern along strictly ideological lines. It's why this country will truly fail if we ever have a totally liberal or totally conservative government. The best toolbox is one that has multiple tools in it.
     
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  4. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    I would disagree. Private fire departments would be higher quality and would cost less because there would competition.

    But I suppose fire departments could be lumped in with the police, army, and courts.
     
  5. Junkieturtle

    Junkieturtle Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Up until the point that the 2 or 3 fire departments decide that, being the essential service that it is, they are going to work together to dictate price. Just like many corporations do today.

    This policy would only serve those who own fire departments, not society.

    The free market is not a boon to things that people need. Keep it limited to luxuries and non-essential goods where being hurt by the profit addiction only happens if you let it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  6. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    What's wrong with profit? It's because people can make a profit they even bother working in the first place. The better job you do, the more money you can make. In the government, there is no profit, so the desire to do better is not there.
     
  7. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm... seems reasonable. A public need could fail due to inadequate funding if funding were a voluntary thing. This could then lead to the society falling apart and just generally being a hindrance to overall prosperity. But...

    Is this then to say that its OK to pay for something with taxes, as long as its in furtherance of prosperity?
    That its OK to pay for something with taxes, if it can be argued that society would fall apart without it?
    And do both of those standards need to be met for taxes to be justified, or just one or the other?
    Also, who should decide what specific individual rights we each should have
    such that society sticks together and progress is maximized?

    -Meta
     
  8. Junkieturtle

    Junkieturtle Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Nothing is inherently wrong with it. It's what businesses are willing to do with their workers in pursuit of it that causes problems. And in the case where the services or goods being provided are essential ones, like energy or health care, those profits motives hurt the people that rely on those goods/services too.

    No, most people work for a paycheck as most people aren't business owners. And most, though thankfully not all, businesses don't share profits with their employees. Working for a paycheck means you end up with the same work ethic regardless of whether you work for the public or private sector. Doing a better job in no way means you'll make more money. At all. Please don't go into adulthood believing that in a literal way. What matters most in those situations isn't the profit motive of the employee, but the profit motive of the employer. The private sector is more likely to fire and replace you, or just give existing employees a larger workload(and likely without a raise) because they are concerned with the owner's profits, not yours.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  9. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    Yes. I say this very lightly though. A true Objectivist does not believe in taxes. In Objectivism you hold yourself in high self-esteem. You are not someone that wants to leech off others. You want to pay the services that people provide for you, and you want others to pay for the services that you provide them. An Objectivist would voluntarily spend their money to fund the government because an Objectivist values freedom and rights for everybody and wouldn't care if there were free-loaders. An Objectivist wouldn't sacrifice a voluntary society in exchange for a coercive society. And in an imaginary world that was awesome where a society only had Objectivists, there would be no free loaders and everyone would voluntarily pay for the government equally and wouldn't have to be forced.

    Anything outside of the police, army and court (and fire fighters lol) would be handled by the free market only. Taxes for anything else are definitely not allowed even if it could argued that society could fall apart. In Objectivism you do not place society or the common good above yourself. No one has the right to take your money to fund a government service. So that means no public education, public mail, public anything else because that can all be handled through voluntary exchange in the free market.

    The Constitution and Bill of Rights would be the basis that everyone would agree on for our individual rights.
     
  10. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    Private enterprises do much better than the government does. Health care would be in better hands in the privately.

    Well the "normal" people who work for a paycheck are not what I'm talking about. It's the businessman in the private sector is what matters, here. When there is a demand in the market (a potential to make money) a businessman will create a business for that demand so that he can make a profit. Since he can make a profit, he will work harder and make his business more efficient to make his profit bigger. Therefore, private enterprises do better than public enterprises.

    People in the public sector are doing a service regardless if there is a demand for it or not. And they are paid a wage based on what the government decides. So there is no correlation to the value they produce to the money they make, so there is no point in working harder or more efficiently or giving the public what it really needs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  11. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    So... you aren't a true Objectivist then?...

    Personally, I view the whole idea of cramming people into rigid ideological boxes and slapping such broad-brush labels on them (as if every person arbitrarily shoved into the same box holds the same unified set of beliefs) to be rather silly. So perhaps it really would be better then, to simply do away with such labels all together.

    -Meta
     
  12. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    Yeah, you're probably right. But other than that, I agree with everything else in the Objectivism philosophy.
     
  13. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Wait, why are we adding firefighters to the list now?

    -Meta
     
  14. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    But... the Constitution allows for taxes in support of things other than what you listed, doesn't it?
    The Constitution also specifies that any disagreements on how the Constitution should be interpreted are to be settled by the courts.
    The courts seem to think that people have a right to vote to pay for things like fire departments, sanitation, education, etc. etc. with taxes.

    Are the courts wrong? And if they are, what is the recourse?

    -Meta
     
  15. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    Because they aid in supporting individual rights. If someone's house was burning down, and yours was next to it, your private property shouldn't get burned as well because your neighbor couldn't afford or didn't pay for fire fighters.

    But I think that we shouldn't really be discussing whether or not we need taxes for police, army, court, ff...

    We should be discussing if all the welfare programs, social security, public education, roads, socialized medicine, and environmental regulations should be payed for by taxes. And if we decide that we don't need those things, then we should discuss if taxation is needed for police, army, court, ff, etc...
     
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  16. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    Well if the Constitution says that then I guess I don't support the Constitution for that part specifically. I don't think a mob in a democracy has a right to vote away a person's money that he has earned through his own effort, to pay for whatever things that they voted for. I believe in property rights, and the money that you have is your property.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  17. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, again, that makes sense, but then... couldn't you use that very same line of reasoning
    to also justify using taxes to pay for things like sanitation services and or a whole bunch of other stuff
    where one person's inability to afford some particular service could end up negatively impacting someone else?

    And if individuals such as yourself and Ayn Rand could mistakenly leave out important things like firefighters, sanitation workers, etc. from the initial list, wouldn't it make sense to have some sort of rule-based system in place for amending the list further in the case that other important things were left out... rather than attempting to specify everything one-by-one from the get go?....

    -Meta
     
  18. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that all of that should be decided through democratic means.

    -Meta
     
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  19. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    I mean I guess you can justify taxing someone for anything if you wanted. But I would rather risk not having a service, than taxing people for a service just to be safe.

    Well... I think police, army, and courts are all you need. It's not about having perfect safety, it's just having a small government that can maintain basic rights. We have the police to defend us from criminals. Army to protect us from invaders. And courts to sort out legal issues. That's the bare minimum and all you need. And would rather avoid taxes as much as possible for anything other than those three things.

    I think it should be decided voluntarily. If people want public education, that is great, but they should have no right to force someone to pay for the public education if they do not want to pay for it. They can only pay for the public education voluntarily with other people who also want to pay for it. Like a charity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  20. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    I did not say or even indicate any of the things you imply, I would recommend going forward that you avoid placing assumptions into the mouths of others in debate or discussion as this is frowned upon in forums and generally leads to eventual dismissal of the persona by interested parties. I do not "Place anybody above myself" as the type of people you refer to are simply avoided immediately and permanently as they show themselves unworthy of my attention. I do however show great affection for the select few that become integrated into my life as important for my happiness.
    This transfers into my societal philosophy as well and though it does limit the general quantity of associates, it massively increases the quality. In business and politics there IS NO affection required and thus it is completely avoided in preference of cold and logical interactions taken with expedience to gain what is needed before a clean and simple exit.
     
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  21. Appleo

    Appleo Newly Registered

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    Well, I am sorry for putting words in your mouth.
     
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  22. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    So its just a matter of individual preference then... a personal opinion... and not really derivative of some overarching dogma made up of consistently strict incontrovertible and or immutable principles. That's fine I suppose. Heck, perhaps that is the way things should be.

    But we all have such opinions on things. Each set being just as varied and unique as the next.
    Therefore, an overarching set of principles which satisfies us all will be nigh impossible to find.
    How then should we resolve the inevitable dispute when one set of opinions conflicts with another?

    There must be in my view, some dispute resolution system which people can agree to.
    A set of itemized guidelines, such as, x, y, and z can be done, but not a, b, and c
    cannot be used, at least not by itself, because as has already been established
    people will be unable to agree on what the particulars should be.

    So the way I see it, when speaking of large social groups who need to figure out how to live together in harmony, the best way of resolving such disputes is through democratic means. Not everyone will see things turn out exactly the way they want of course. But most people will find that at least some, even if not 100%, of the principles they value will be enshrined into law. And that may simply be the best that can be hoped for.

    Perhaps it can be a little of both?

    What would you say, for example, to a voluntary society where certain segments of the society could voluntarily choose to ban together and turn their particular areas into democratically governed enclaves? Would that be acceptable?

    And likewise, what would you say to a democratic society, in which people still had to follow the democratically defined law in general, but could avoid some things, such as paying taxes, by voluntarily refusing to use or directly benefit from anything provided via the democratic government. Would that be acceptable?

    -Meta
     
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  23. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I have some difficulties to get the specificites of Ayn Rand thoughts. She is a rationnalist, okay. But what's new in that ?
    One of the most book I have red it the "Epictetus handbook". I still use as a guideline in my life, I don't know if it's with success. I studied a little bit buddhism too.

    There is many kind of philosophy, and I'm not sure there is "one" philosophy. There is the scientific method which is a tool created by skeptic philosophy. It's usefull as a tool for science, but daily life, not that much.
    There is daily life philosophy, it's where stoicism is more usefull.

    I don't trust however political philosophy like communism, anarchism or minarchism. They seems for me just to be idea which often lack of pragmatism. I'm more again a traditionnalist, change the society ? Maybe, but step by step, and looking if each step is working.
     
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  24. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    ^This seems like the best approach in my opinion.
     
  25. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Objectivism is that it goes against science and evolution. Evolution wise, species are better off cooperating than competing. That's why social insects like ants are some of the most successful species on the planet. It is also why us humans have evolved with the most complex social network in the animal kingdom. Everyone thinks it is our tool building that allowed early man to take down a mammoth, but even a man with a bow and arrow cannot bring down a mammoth by himself. However, a group a humans with no weapons could work together to run a mammoth over a cliff.
     

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