It's All About Choices, Stupid
There is a phony conflict afoot that statists are fond of bringing up when they try to discredit the free society. It is about the individual versus the community. Champions of human liberty are often mis-characterized as denying the significance of human community life. As if individualists advocated that people live like hermits, apart from their fellows, in solitude.
Of course, individualists do not advocate anything of the kind. What they insist upon is that human beings be understood as choosing their associations instead of being simply herded into groups that some of them prefer to be part of.
Nearly everyone is better off living in the company of others. Hardly any human activity is carried out isolated from others and even when it appears like it, others are usually surrounding it, supporting it, helping it along and so forth. Solitary existence isn't the objective that individualists are promoting.
What individualists are seeking is a kind of society in which people can make a choice as to what groups they will join, for how long, where, etc. And, yes, they also want to be left in peace for a good bit instead of being dragged into the company of others when they'd rather carry forth on their own. Writers, composers, painters and the like are among these. Again, the bottom line is that one size doesn't fit all!
There are animals that naturally exist linked to others of their species, like ants or termites or many varieties of fish. But with humans what makes them distinctive is that they make choices about these matters – will one be part of a choir of sing in a trio or alone? Will one be a hiker by oneself or with a bunch of friends? You get the point.
What the communitarian types want is for them to dictate the kind of groups everyone must be part of. They detest the possibility of people making up their own minds about such matters since free choice runs the risk of noncompliance and to bring others on board for their journey of their own free will requires successful persuasion, something that cannot be guaranteed.
The communitarians want to be in charge of everyone's destiny. Their imperialism is contrary to human nature and whenever they try it, all hell breaks loose and we get gulags and concentration camps instead of peaceful communities and companionships. Here is a good outline of their social political philosophy:
We need to see society as an extension of ourselves , an invisible part of our anatomy that assists us every day without dominating us and that, like our own arms and legs, we tend when injured, and whose welfare reconsider at all times. The relation resembles that of a violinist to his instrument--useful but more than something useful, cared for like an esteemed friend. If such a part of us fails, we do not discard it for a peg leg, nor are we fired from our job because we cannot play hopscotch. We may be a disposable member of the symphony, but our violin is us to us. The relation is somethings – oh dear – called love." (See, William H. Gass, "Double Vision," Harper's Magazine, Oct. 2012, p. 78.)
This passage comes from a prominent contemporary public philosopher who I have heard has been close to some Democratic presidents in recent years. In any case, his ideas are close to Mr. Obama's famous quip that we are all in it together and his repeated blather about how no one achieves success on his own – remember "You didn't build that."
The important point is not to argue about how much people draw from each other as they make their way through life. What is crucial is that in a genuinely free country when they draw on each others' contributions they do this of their own free will and are not lumped together by some philosopher king, like it or not.
Posted by 1776 on 11/29/12 11:36 PM
Six Reasons the 'Fiscal Cliff' is a Scam: A Mechanism for Rolling Back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. By Prof. James K Galbraith Global Research, November 29, 2012
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Posted by 1776 on 11/29/12 08:28 PM
Timeline Of Senate Democrats' Refusal To Make Budget Plans Public
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Posted by victorbarney on 11/29/12 03:27 PM
Here's the REAL DEAL: As proven by England, although now MARXIST in ideology during all the 1900's and the REASON for the CIA inspired MARXIST British Music invasion of the 60's, America, England brother will NEXT produce the two-witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11 and America will be witnessed against for the following 3 1/2 years, leaving ONLY 144,000 anglo-saxons alive at the end of their witnessing against u.s. However, 3 1/2 days AFTER Obama is allowed to kill these two-witnesses, THEY WILL STAND AGAIN & NOW DEAL WITH OBAMA & ALL GENTILES! NO, this will NOT take 3 1/2 years as Israel's punishment, but only ONE(1) HOUR and "ALL" GENTILES THEN WILL BE JUDGED & OBAMA DEAD FOREVER! It will not take long because I see 2013 as being a good year to begin our WELL EARNED punishment. MEN, WELCOME TO ADAM'S WORLD, EVEN BEFORE THE FIRST MURDERER WAS EVEN BORN... Just saying...
Posted by Just John on 11/29/12 02:48 PM
Remember, I DID SO BUILD IT. As long as that is understood, you are welcome at MY place.
Posted by 1776 on 11/29/12 11:35 AM
Ayn Rand - Liberty vs Socialism
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Posted by rossbcan on 11/29/12 10:38 AM
T.M. "Hardly any human activity is carried out isolated from others and even when it appears like it, others are usually surrounding it, supporting it, helping it along and so forth. Solitary existence isn't the objective that individualists are promoting."
excerpt, "From Ignorance to Civilization":
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"What is certain is that early man encountered other individuals and some accommodation had to be reached. What is also clear is that cooperation and communication are two of man's greatest survival skills.
This first encounter was an inevitable disaster. Another individual with the exact same capabilities and needs as yourself is consuming the sustenance you require, reducing food in the area and making survival more expensive in time and effort. Worse, he appears to be smarter, raiding your cave and food cache before you thought to raid his. This has made life much more complicated by the introduction of a predator who can overcome any possible defense, who learns from your actions, against whom much time and effort must be spent guarding against at the expense of food gathering. A stalemate of sorts is achieved after both realize that attempting to prey on each other leads to conflict and inability to gather sustenance resulting in mutual non-survival. Neither is willing to concede defeat and leave. They tacitly agree to live and let live and stay out of each other's affairs, allowing them subsistence survival as lone individuals, wary of each other. This is the first natural law between men; to live and let live. Since no external force imposed it, it is a voluntary contract, for mutual self-interest.
A Tribe is Born
As the area is depleted of easy forage, individuals must range further and discover other individuals and groups. The same dynamics of competition for resources results in the same choices and relationship evolution among the intelligent in favor of live and let live, co-operation and division of labor. Individuals form larger groups to trade conflict for cooperation. Given the efficiency of this organization, tribal wealth increases to the point that basic survival is not threatened.
Some tribe members start claiming that their role in the cooperative division of labor is deserving of special consideration and argue that without them, tribal survival is not possible. Others argue that there is enough food and they should not have to work. The intelligent, as usual are ignored. This dispute splits the tribe into warring factions. The conflict ends with universal impoverishment and the rediscovery of common interest since conflict leads to universal non-survival.
At the same time, for the same reasons, other tribes were formed. The stored wealth and food of other tribes appears to be easy pickings and inter-tribal warfare occurs, once again resulting in universal impoverishment. The lessons of live and let live and cooperation are ultimately learned to also apply between tribes. Tribes learn to cooperate in the area of common interest to become civilizations. Civilizations have yet to learn to act in common interest."
From "The Purpose and Nature of Civilization":
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Inevitable Polarization Within The Group
The unavoidable necessity for individual man to become a member of a group was a major environmental change for mankind, affecting his very nature. The organized power of the group provides protection from non human predatory forces of nature at the cost of the individual having no choice but to associate with the most dangerous predator of all, other human beings. Further, the dictates of group survival requires that the individual cooperate either voluntarily or under coercion. Individual man, in a group environment is still compelled by the most basic need of life, to survive. This must be achieved in an environment of like minded individuals, whose survival dictates that they must seek advantage over you, as you must seek advantage over them. Within the group, resources are still limited. A further consideration is that not all individuals have the same strength. Since the topic is the choices of intelligent man as offered by physical reality, there is absolutely no requirement for morality or consideration of the survival of others, including the group. The only consideration is to individually survive. In a group environment, this means by seeking advantage over others and preventing others from achieving advantage over you. It is still every man for himself in a very dangerous environment.
The initial result of these environmental factors is that the strong cooperate to enslave the weak. The result is a division of labor within the group where some do the work and others force them to do the work. The group is now composed of two sub-groups. This division of labor is an intellectual environmental change for both sub-groups, who no longer have the same survival considerations, resulting in a division of viewpoint. Survival for those who rule demands that they do whatever is required to stay in control and extract the maximum possible tribute from those who do the work. Survival for those who do the work demands that they do the best they can to resist this rule and minimize or eliminate the tribute that is extracted.
This forceful relationship between ruler and ruled is inherently unstable, since the rulers are totally dependent on the resources extracted from those who do the work and provide no value except protection from themselves in exchange. This instability is further reinforced by the fact that the more tribute the rulers demand, the more workers that are required to meet this demand. If the unrealistic assumption is made that all members of ruler and ruled sub-groups receive an equal share of limited resources and the ruled produce twice as much as they consume, the result is that the maximum number of rulers is equal to the number of ruled. In practice, rulers are greedy and arrogant and delude themselves into believing they are more deserving which means that there are always less rulers than ruled. This gives the workers numerical superiority and a shared survival goal (common interest) to cooperate in dealing with their oppressors. A mathematical proof and graph of maximum percentage of rulers versus ruler greed is presented in the Section XXX, "Mathematics of Rule":
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The result of these basic factors is well documented in mankind's bloody history, which, for the most part is a chronicle of the dynamics of groups absorbing other groups and sub-groups competing for control of the larger group using various methods.
The conclusion is that natural factors, a consequence of the fact that men differ in intelligence, strength and initiative, results in the polarization of mankind into two basic sub-groups, those who rule and those who are ruled. The rulers are at a perpetual numerical disadvantage with the ruled having strong common interest in changing the status quo."
Only the terminology and rationalizations have changed. same old, same old.
Further, the Renassance established the supremacy of fact and reason, a "turf" that slavers / elites have been defeated on and abandoned. Current "turf" is the war to occupy the position of "official interpreter / enforcer of decreed official interpretation". When the factual veracity of this position is analyzed, it resolves to "decreeing reality", a very perilous position that the "reality centric community" can easily overthrow, once we are able to differentiate between fact and fiction, act in "common interest" using natural law which is beyond disputing nor avoiding. THINK about it:
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Posted by Danny B on 11/29/12 10:16 AM
"What is crucial is that in a genuinely free country when they draw on each others' contributions they do this of their own free will "
Ah yes, the difference between parasitism and symbiosis. The parasites are quite happy with a one-way street (feeding tube).
Posted by RR on 11/29/12 02:01 AM
Ayan Rand..'All kinds of people today call themselves 'libertarians,' especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they're anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It's a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don't want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That's the Libertarian movement.'
Reply from The Daily Bell
Odd quote. Rand, Mises and Rothbard were at loggerheads in many ways. Rothbard styled himself an "anarcho-capitalist" ... combining into one phrase the words that caused Rand to fume that such a nomenclature signaled "the scum of the intellectual world of the left."