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Br16

Workable Objectivism (Ayn Rand)

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1 hour ago, Br16 said:

Thus, those who provide the innovative skill, risk their capital, have the know how and implement the managerial organization create and sustain the umbrella of opportunity that gives regular workers a job/pay they would not otherwise be able to get on their own. 

And yet they, in turn, owe a debt to the system which provided legal, political and societal stability necessary for such an organization to grow; which protects them from foreign invasion; which guarantees their lives and property; which provides infrastructure necessary for any large-scale organization to exist; which protects the trade routes; which provides the workers with the education necessary for them to perform their jobs properly; etc.

Not to mention that many of these "managerial geniuses" in the real world receive both direct and indirect government subsidies without which they couldn't function (an example from your free market utopia: https://www.gov.hk/en/business/supportenterprises/funding/index.htm). And that when their business fails, they run crying to that same big government asking for help (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program).

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41 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

My favourite libertarian "example" that I have seen trotted out now and again is Medieval Iceland. Never mind that the economic system was not analogous to modern capitalism by any stretch of the imagination, have these people ever actually read Njal's Saga? Do they honestly want to live in a society with that level of bloodthirsty nutters and violence?

Well, snorres life reads like an asoiaf novel, and youre posting in a.. :D

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2 minutes ago, Gorn said:

And yet they, in turn, owe a debt to the system which provided legal, political and societal stability necessary for such an organization to grow; which protects them from foreign invasion; which guarantees their lives and property; which provides infrastructure necessary for any large-scale organization to exist; which protects the trade routes; which provides the workers with the education necessary for them to perform their jobs properly; etc.

In HK or the City of London Corporation, the legislature is based on corporate functional constituencies,  and Livery Companies voting.

For example in the City: "Sole traders and businesses with up to nine employees get one vote, while organisations with up to 50 staff can appoint one voter for every five people who work there. Organisations with more than 50 staff can appoint 10 voters and then one voter per 50 voters after that.......The votes allocated to a business are proportional to their number of employees - the first 50 staff entitles a business to appoint 10 voters, but every additional 50 members of staff only entitle it to appoint an extra one voter, so the largest firms do not dominate the list of voters as they could do if it was a simple proportional representation of their workforce size.""(Link to article)"

Current forms of government often do more to red tape/burden free enterprise, free trade and free movement than help it. Galt's Gulch symbolizes that capable and rational entrepreneurs can create forms of government to meet their superstructure needs, for mutual benefit. 

5 minutes ago, Gorn said:

when their business fails, they run crying to that same big government asking for help (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program).

These are classic examples of "looters" that Rand derided in Atlas Shrugged, such as Dagny Taggart's brother James who constantly uses his political power to prop up his bad management.  

 

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1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

 The man with the intellect can achieve nothing without the factory worker. The reality is symbiosis and interdependence....

The reality is that the interdependence is not equal. The common worker has no means of purchasing raw materials, designing machinery, opening new markets or weaving operations in accordance to a complex business plan or supply chain. They need ready made jobs others create for them. 

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42 minutes ago, Br16 said:

The reality is that the interdependence is not equal. The common worker has no means of purchasing raw materials, designing machinery, opening new markets or weaving operations in accordance to a complex business plan or supply chain. They need ready made jobs others create for them. 

What you're really saying is they don't have money and they need a rich asshole.  

And what DMC said, Ayn Rand is like a dumb person's idea of a smart person.  

 

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5 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

What you're really saying is they don't have money and they need a rich asshole.  

Not just capital that could be risked, but also specialist skills, innovative knowledge, and profound vision. 

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1 minute ago, Br16 said:

Not just capital that could be risked, but also specialist skills, innovative knowledge, and profound vision. 

One day you'll go to college, or have a job, and the idiocy of this outlook may very well dawn on you.  Who knows?

I'm an entrepreneur.  I know a lot of entrepreneurs.  Out of all the components of an economy to fetishize, it's always struck me as profoundly bizarre how people romanticize this shit.  

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1 minute ago, larrytheimp said:

I'm an entrepreneur.  I know a lot of entrepreneurs.  Out of all the components of an economy to fetishize, it's always struck me as profoundly bizarre how people romanticize this shit.  

Then deep down you know what Rand says is true. You're probably generous to your employees, which is fine. Many small to medium size business can have a family dynamic. But know that there is a Pyramid of Ability, and your clerks and receptionists cannot do what you do, and can be replaced. Likewise, if your business collapses, you lose everything, while you're employees will just find new jobs.

I've even read an article (many years ago, so I only remember the outline) where a business tanked because they lost a big client (they had lopsided customer balance) and his employees (who were like friends to him) callously jumped ship the next day after and started asking to buy company assets to start their own agency. 

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1 minute ago, Br16 said:

Then deep down you know what Rand says is true. You're probably generous to your employees, which is fine. Many small to medium size business can have a family dynamic. But know that there is a Pyramid of Ability, and your clerks and receptionists cannot do what you do, and can be replaced. Likewise, if your business collapses, you lose everything, while you're employees will just find new jobs.

I've even read an article (many years ago, so I only remember the outline) where a business tanked because they lost a big client (they had lopsided customer balance) and his employees (who were like friends to him) callously jumped ship the next day after and started asking to buy company assets to start their own agency. 

No.

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4 hours ago, Br16 said:

Hey, I liked the prequels, Palpatine's convincing arrogance and the Anakin/Obiwan duel were cool to watch. Also, did you watch the animated version of Clone Wars? Those B1 droids were adorable.

That was just a joke - yes, I like the last couple acts of Revenge of the Sith, but the entire thing just coulda been that.  And nah, I don't watch the ancillary stuff.

As for your comment on Rand, let's take the end of your quote of her:

Quote

The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the “competition” between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of “exploitation” for which you have damned the strong.

This is a rather disgusting sentiment to publish.  The man at the bottom contributes nothing?  And is just the beneficiary receiving "the bonus of all our brains?"  Go fuck yourself Ayn Rand.  Way to encourage the dehumanization of anyone that isn't lucky enough to be you.  It's cookie cutter political philosophy, at best.  And really has no business being repeated anywhere.  I will definitely never teach that horseshit in my life.

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42 minutes ago, DMC said:

This is a rather disgusting sentiment to publish.  The man at the bottom contributes nothing?  And is just the beneficiary receiving "the bonus of all our brains?"  Go fuck yourself Ayn Rand.  Way to encourage the dehumanization of anyone that isn't lucky enough to be you.  It's cookie cutter political philosophy, at best.  And really has no business being repeated anywhere.  I will definitely never teach that horseshit in my life.

There are mirrors of stuff like Rand where there is a glorification of the intellectual class and a demonisation of the working class that can be found in a lot of socialist / left wing conversation where the opposite occurs, where the worker is the hero and the boss is the evil tyrant. Why can't we all just be a bit more sensible and realise neither is true. 

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9 minutes ago, DMC said:

This is a rather disgusting sentiment to publish.  The man at the bottom contributes nothing?  And is just the beneficiary receiving "the bonus of all our brains?"  Go fuck yourself Ayn Rand.  Way to encourage the dehumanization of anyone that isn't lucky enough to be you.  It's cookie cutter political philosophy, at best.  And really has no business being repeated anywhere.  I will definitely never teach that horseshit in my life.

I think what she meant is that those at the top are like force multipliers that allow those at the bottom to have more than they could by their own two hands. 

Moreover, Ayn Rand and her family themselves were subject to serious dehumanization under the Bolshevik revolutionary government. They lost their self made pharmacy business (her father was born poor but climbed through hard work/got educated despite suffering from antisemitic Czarist admission restrictions), became refugees and later returned to bleak (including starvation) conditions, she also then got purged out of university for being middle class, as well as enduring endless propaganda. Lastly, her parents died at siege of Leningrad because she failed in her quest to get them visas.

So she has a point. And we ought to respect/consider the views of people who have suffered what we could not even imagine.

Moreover she doesn't give a free pass to anybody with money and power. A lot of the villains in Atlas Shrugged are corrupt business titans who are kept afloat by lobbying, bailouts and subsidies.  

I don't buy all of her thinking, and the big difference between me and Rand is that I'm all for voluntary charity as something that should be zealously pursued. Especially the low overhead grassroots community type.

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Just now, Heartofice said:

There are mirrors of stuff like Rand where there is a glorification of the intellectual class and a demonisation of the working class that can be found in a lot of socialist / left wing conversation where the opposite occurs, where the worker is the hero and the boss is the evil tyrant. Why can't we all just be a bit more sensible and realise neither is true. 

Well, I kind of agree with this sentiment, but maybe the problem is the boss can be the tyrant, and often is, whereas the worker is subject to that possibility.

2 minutes ago, Br16 said:

I think what she meant is that those at the top are like force multipliers that allow those at the bottom to have more than they could by their own two hands. 

No.  She clearly meant those at the bottom are not as good, or "worth" as much, as those at the top.  I'm not gonna let you excuse her horrific top-down ideology.  That is what she meant, and if you want to promote that piece of shit writing, then you need to own that too.

5 minutes ago, Br16 said:

Moreover, Ayn Rand and her family themselves were subject to serious dehumanization under the Bolshevik revolutionary government.

I'm aware - her name is actually Alisa Rosenbaum.  That doesn't change my opinion on her writings.

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1 minute ago, DMC said:

No.  She clearly meant those at the bottom are not as good, or "worth" as much, as those at the top.  I'm not gonna let you excuse her horrific top-down ideology.  That is what she meant, and if you want to promote that piece of shit writing, then you need to own that too.

Well, I do own it, and from an economic point of view, it's true. And those of the Left need to own the massive failure of the Soviet model, and its corresponding human cost. 

5 minutes ago, DMC said:

I'm aware - her name is actually Alisa Rosenbaum.  That doesn't change my opinion on her writings.

Why not? She seemed just a regular middle class kid before she got hammered by Bolsheviks, and then she found the will to write a 1069 page novel (my copy) counterargument. If anything, it has caused me to be weary of buying the Left narrative as is. 

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5 hours ago, Br16 said:

When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible: for the work of the industrialist who built it, for the work of the investor who saved the money to risk on the untried and the new, for the work of the engineer who designed the machines of which you are pushing the levers, for the work of the inventor who created the product which you spend your time on making, for the work of the scientist who discovered the laws that went into the making of that product, for the work of the philosopher who taught men how to think and whom you spend your time denouncing.

I do love how most of those who contribute the "productive genius which has made that factory possible" got jack shit. Of those listed here, the industrialist who "built" it, and the investor reap the vast majority of the reward. But the others get only a fraction of it, if any. Even though by the philosophy espoused they certainly put in more "mental energy".

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2 hours ago, Br16 said:

The reality is that the interdependence is not equal. The common worker has no means of purchasing raw materials, designing machinery, opening new markets or weaving operations in accordance to a complex business plan or supply chain. They need ready made jobs others create for them. 

And no individual is capable of doing all that, let alone any CEO being able to operate a business single-handedly to create millions in value let alone billions. If the CEO of any major corporation died today would the company cease to function or even function with notably less efficiency? Some large businesses do have a single point of failure, but it's never the CEO or their direct reports. Economies are cooperative enterprises, and no function within the economy is more essential than another. Like the human body, every constituent part can claim unique importance, but the body ceases to function and dies if each component part is separated from the others even for an instant.

35 minutes ago, Br16 said:

 

Moreover, Ayn Rand and her family themselves were subject to serious dehumanization under the Bolshevik revolutionary government. They lost their self made pharmacy business (her father was born poor but climbed through hard work/got educated despite suffering from antisemitic Czarist admission restrictions), became refugees and later returned to bleak (including starvation) conditions, she also then got purged out of university for being middle class, as well as enduring endless propaganda. Lastly, her parents died at siege of Leningrad because she failed in her quest to get them visas.

 

Again, a total fallacy. There is no such thing as a self-made anything. Everything requires cooperation and coordination. You can hate Communism and Bolshevism without going to the batshit objectivist extreme.

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1 minute ago, Br16 said:

Well, I do own it, and from an economic point of view, it's true. And those of the Left need to own the massive failure of the Soviet model, and its corresponding human cost.

Wait, what?  So advocating socialism means you need to own the atrocities perpetrated by Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and who the fuck ever?  What a bunch of horseshit.  Socialism has as much to do with the Soviets as capitalism has to with at least half of the United States that perpetuated it in an unfettered way until the Great Depression - and by some even after.  How many deaths did that cause?

6 minutes ago, Br16 said:

She seemed just a regular middle class kid before she got hammered by Bolsheviks, and then she found the will to write a 1069 page novel (my copy) counterargument. If anything, it has caused me to be weary of buying the Left narrative as is. 

Uh, cuz the content of her arguments have nothing to do with that history.  For a very long time, most successful presidents ran on their WWII record, in one way or another.  If I was a voter at that time would I care about that record and how it has relevance to being president?  No, it's just a way to make you feel good about pulling the lever for them.  Her experience does not excuse her idiotic writings.

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What the fuck is a "profound vision" that makes its possessor a uniquely gifted individual worth more consideration and compensation than a person actually doing physical labor? Is a "profound vision" something like, "Hey, let's have a service that's like a taxi, except you book rides with an app, and the drivers are contractors so we don't have to supply cars or training or benefits and we'll do minimal screening" -- is that a profound vision?

I used to work in game design, and one thing that will teach you is that ideas are cheap. Every asshole has ideas.

One thing will ever remain unchanged: the self-serving intellectually dishonest horseshit shoveled up by Ayn Rand will forever appeal to upper-middle-class half-bright white bros.

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Also, spare me this fucking sob story that the owner of a business that fails "loses everything" while their employees can find other jobs. Have you actually had a job? Have you lost a job and tried to look for one while supporting a family, while a few hundred of your colleagues hit the market at the same time? I've been there. The owner of the business that failed still lives in his mansion and his kids never suffered a moment of want. My colleagues variously went bankrupt, had their credit ratings tanked, had to relocate all over the country. One guy had a wife going through chemotherapy that was suddenly cut off because the Magnificent Titan of Industry who employed us didn't bother to tell us that health insurance was being cut off while he was asking us to come in to work and save the company.

Fuck Ayn Rand and all her callow, ignorant, fuckwitted fanboys. If leftists have to own Mao and Stalin (what a fucking stupid thing to say) then you get to own the miseries inflicted on my friends.

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12 hours ago, Rippounet said:

American economist James M. Buchanan was the founder of the Virginia school of economics and the 1986 nobel prize winner for his work on "public choice theory." He was also a president of the Mont Pelerin society and a fellow of the Cato institute (duh!).

I can't claim to know him that well though his name is known to my friends who studied economics. Credit goes to @Zorral who IIRC recommended historian Nancy MacLean's book about him to me a year or two ago. If you want to know what this is all about, here's a summary:
https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behind-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-america
Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean

MacLean's work came under heavy fire and she was accused of cherry-picking facts and sources to build her narrative (unsurprising, given her work). The core of her research however, that is, reading Buchanan's personal letters (especially those exchanged with the Kochs) was never questioned as far as I know. In other words, Buchanan seems to have been a key intellectual agent of libertarian ideals and policies as early as the 1950s and throughout the 1960s.
What McLean really brings to the table is showing how deliberate the attack on "big government" was almost from the beginning. Imho this also helps understand the work of right-wing think tanks like the Cato institute or the Heritage Foundation that emerged in the 1970s.
It seems we can credit Buchanan with the strategy to destroy a public service that most of us know well. IIRC McLean dedicated a chapter to it (or most of a chapter) in her book. From a Guardian article:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/19/despot-disguise-democracy-james-mcgill-buchanan-totalitarian-capitalism

MacLean probably exaggerated Buchanan's role and influence a bit, but her work is still fascinating. She's not the only one of course, other historians have worked on the right-wing networks that eventually brought us Reagan and Thatcher. All in all, how right-wing strategies emerged is well documented, and helps explain how we get to the point where we have this thread.
 

Ah, ok. I probably shouldn't not have projected my own inadequacy with names onto you. Apologies for that. And, well, thanks for introducing me to James M. Buchanan.
Small off topic thing. Am I the only one who has problems with the phrase Nobel Laureate. Nobel himself never started one for economics. That one was a late addition by the bank of Sweden from the late 1960s or 1970s. So Alfred had very little to do with it, as he had been dead and buried for 70 years or so at that point. I mean, we don't have a Nobel Price for tea leaf reading either. But hat might really just be me, and my not so deep respect for economics.

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