Page 2 of 2 [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

AngelRho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2008
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,609
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

09 Jul 2021, 3:04 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Demanding the hundreds of thousands of dead Afghans be thankful for the American invasion is OBJECTIVELY tasteless.

Please show me where I said Afghans ever benefitted from American interference. I've repeatedly said that our presence in Afghanistan was harmful.

If ANYTHING, retaliation against Osama bin Laden in bringing justice to everyone who died in 9/11 plus their survivors was to be expected. I would say, and I MIGHT be wrong in this case, that pursuing justice to hunt and dispose of Bin Laden was appropriate and justified. Long term occupation of Afghanistan to no benefit either to the United States, victims of 9/11, victims of al-Quaeda worldwide, victims of the Taliban, or to the Afghan people at large is unreasonable, unjustifiable, and non-objective.

So if you are aware of how I feel about American intrusion and interference in Afghanistan, then you'll understand that I agree with you on this.

shlaifu wrote:
and regarding your roadkill anecdote: calling it "roadkill" when the heavily injured animal needed to be shot... it sounds totally edible to me. like, I don't see the difference to an animal that was shot for food without getting hit by a car first. But I'm not a hysteric American.

Agreed. But there are laws, and I've never been able to afford fines from Wildlife and Fisheries. At least that family could have a good supply of meat for a few weeks.

shlaifu wrote:
You saying native Americans OBJECTIVELY benefitted from European activity - as if colonisation was optional, and 50 Million dead in the Americand somehow seperable from "European activity" - is basically why philosophy looks at Ayn Rand and comments: she's not just wrong, she's amazing in that the exact opposite of what she says is almost always right.

Native Americans OBJECTIVELY benefitted from trade agreements with the French and the British early in North American history. This is a long-established fact. Conquest has often resulted in the benefit of conquered people. Chaldean conquest of Judea and subsequent exile resulted in a revival that preserved Hebrew culture and tradition. Conquest of Babylon by the Persians resulted in the Jews being restored to their homeland. British conquest dismantled the Ottoman Empire and laid the groundwork for Israeli self-rule. UN intervention in South Korea ended Imperial Japanese rule and abuses of the Korean people and prevented dominance by a harmful regime in South Korea, opened South Korea up to trade with the West and prosperity not seen since Joseon. So...yeah, conquest and colonization APPEAR to have OBJECTIVE benefits. I'm not going to back down on something I can base on observable, documented, historical FACT.

I don't care if you believe Ayn Rand is wrong. That is not the purpose of this topic.

Reread what I just said in my first paragraph here: "conquest and colonization APPEAR to have OBJECTIVE benefits." Notice I emphasized "APPEAR." My focus is on that appearance juxtaposed against reality. Do you agree that the N.A.P. is the most reasonable foreign policy strategy? And if you aren't familiar with N.A.P., it means that the initiation of force against another individual or nation is NEVER a rational course of action. To INITIATE force against a foreign power means a nation has forfeited its own right to peaceful coexistence with other nations. It is an open invitation to retaliation and invasion. Objectivism holds that the proper role and function of government with regard to foreign invasion is to protect its own citizens and never interfere with foreign affairs. By limiting use of force to protecting the homeland, no government or citizen ever need fear retaliation and subjugation by foreign powers. Actual retaliation is contingent, never necessary, but nevertheless always reasonable since all actions by default indicate consent to reciprocity. Because retaliation is contingent, retaliation when it occurs raises the question of whether the conscious decision to retaliate is consistent with N.A.P.

The decision, then, to invade Afghanistan for the purpose of bringing Osama bin Laden to justice is not a matter of conquest or colonization. The objective benefit is not for the Afghan people. It never was, nor did it ever need to be in order to be a rational move. It's about justice, pure and simple, and the necessary means to attain it. What is NOT rational is the ongoing occupation once the objective of retaliation against bin Laden and al-Quaeda has been achieved. It's not rational to commit thousands of American soldiers to the occupation of a country that has no interest in cooperating with the United States. The reasonable decision to retaliate against Afghanistan for protecting terrorists does not violate N.A.P. America getting comfortable with continued occupation without mutual benefit, however, DOES.

What I'm unsure of is whether N.A.P. considers retaliation by invading a foreign nation to be in violation of the principle. Those immediately responsible for the 9/11 attacks died instantly in the attacks. There was never an invasion force to repel. There was no one left to hold responsible except for al-Quaeda who DID enjoy the protection of the Taliban and the Afghan state. Objectively speaking, what options did the United States really have? Also, how far should the United Sates have been reasonably allowed to go? These are the kinds of issues I'm struggling with.

Indians and Americans alternately violated N.A.P., which I think has to be blamed squarely on the British military using Indians as enforcers along the frontier. Americans acted primarily in self-defense at first, which is perfectly rational. Once you factor in unbridled, institutional racism, there was never going to be an objective resolution to American/Indian conflict. Western Europeans see land as property that can be owned. This seems to be a distinctly European/American thing. Biblical real estate principles hold that land can only be owned by God and that people have no inherent rights to it. Therefore, any assignments made to land are PERMANENT, and there are strict terms and conditions to how ownership may be negotiated or exchanged.

This makes perfect sense for any nomadic society, and such was the case for Indians. They lacked a concept of permanence. To them, land was free and open and could not be owned by anyone. This culminated in the long-standing conflicts between Americans and Indians in the 1800s. It really was a simple misunderstanding that could have easily been resolved. Neither side was prepared to universally agree to a mutually beneficial resolution, and rank-and-file natives would never go along with their chiefs if they believed they'd been corrupted by American authorities. The reservation system is a compromise--and I'd say it's a terrible one--that ended open hostilities between Indians and the US government.

The peaceful coexistence we've had SINCE then has NO DOUBT resulted in objective benefit to the natives. Education. Health. Protection from foreign attack. Culture and tradition (Indian presence alone has improved the American quality of life, which in turn results in incentives to preserve their culture). Rights and privileges available only to American citizens while still retaining their own autonomy. I'm not ignoring tribal poverty. I'm just saying that, all things considered, they are doing quite well. They wouldn't be doing this well had we forced them into isolation from our own way of life.



The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,603
Location: Reading, England

10 Jul 2021, 8:33 am

I don’t think Randian Objectivism is a philosophy worth taking seriously. It has very little impact upon the foreign policy of any nation, and is primarily practiced by American teenagers with no knowledge of moral philosophy.

It would be far more interesting to talk about…

- Utilitarianism
- Liberalism
- Realism
- Constructivism
- Liberation theology
- Marxism
- Kantian ethics
- Aretaic ethics
- Positivism
- Isolationism
- Rational choice theory
- Critical theory
- Neoconservatism
- Functionalism
- Structuralism

All of which actually shape approaches to international relations and don’t involve idolising a low-grade author.

I would push back very strongly against the idea that the intervention in Afghanistan was bad for Afghanistan. Yes, about 50,000 civilians died over 20 years. But most of them died at the hands of the Taliban, who were already in control of most of Afghanistan in 2001. The Taliban ran a totalitarian Sharia regime, committing genocide, blocking food supplies to starving civilians, destroying tens of thousands of homes and religious sites. Mass rapes, ethnic cleansing, execution of children, sex trafficking, indiscriminate slaughter. The world should be proud that we stopped those evil people. Today Afghanistan is not perfect but it is a democracy, one in three girls is in school (compared to zero under the Taliban), and there is a constitutional right to freedom of religion. It’s a disgrace that the US is pulling out and allowing the Taliban to return, frankly.

A liberal worldview says that we have a duty to uphold human rights around the world. If a government is slaughtering its civilians, we should use military force to stop them. If an Objectivist disagrees with that they I would say that illustrates the failings of their ideology. Frankly I think even Objectivist principles support liberal interventionism.

A realist point of view says, yes, interventions can be good, but states will only conduct them when it does not go against their rational self-interest. Upholding human rights is usually in the self-interest of countries that depend upon global prosperity and which have substantial militaries… but not if the abuser also has a substantial military. That’s why the US hasn’t intervened in Chechnya or East Turkestan.

***

As for the subject of colonialism, first I think you have to define colonialism. The OED defines it as “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”

So let’s break that down into three parts: 1) acquiring full or partial political control over another country
2) occupying it with settlers
3) exploiting it economically

All three have to be met for an action to be colonialism.

Point 1) seems like it would not be justifiable under Objectivism. Acquiring control over another country is going to involve violation of the NAP unless that country has initiated some form of aggression either against you or against others.

Point 2) in isolation would seem acceptable. Border restrictions are largely violations of the NAP (with some limited exceptions like keeping out violence and disease). People should be allowed to live where they want. However, when it is combined with Point 1, this seems to be a way of consolidating control over a country. We have seen this prominently in, for example, British colonisation of Ireland, British colonisation of Australia, American “manifest destiny”, Chinese colonisation of Tibet, and Russian colonisation of Crimea.

Point 3, economic exploitation, is tricky, because you have to define “economic exploitation”. The Marxist definition that all economic activity is exploitative if anyone makes a profit seems inadequate and would be rejected by Objectivists. Similarly, “exploitation” can simply mean “use”, but I feel like the term in this sense is intended to be pejorative - we would not argue that free trade exploits people. I would suggest that economic exploitation involves theft, coercion, force, or rent seeking. Theft, coercion, and force are objectionable to the Objectivist, and rent seeking might be if only they knew what it was. In the context of colonisation, I would say that things such as slavery, extraction of resources without compensation, lies about the value of goods, land theft, and forced trade would all be exploitative and objectionable to Objecivists.

There is currently a school of thought among far-left activists that all military intervention, all trade, and all capitalism is inherently colonialism. This is of course nonsense, and if the far-left decides to push these definitions then they shouldn’t be surprised when most people (including Objectivists) conclude that colonialism is not inherently bad.



AngelRho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2008
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,609
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

10 Jul 2021, 12:36 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
I don’t think Randian Objectivism is a philosophy worth taking seriously. It has very little impact upon the foreign policy of any nation, and is primarily practiced by American teenagers with no knowledge of moral philosophy.

It would be far more interesting to talk about…

- Utilitarianism
- Liberalism
- Realism
- Constructivism
- Liberation theology
- Marxism
- Kantian ethics
- Aretaic ethics
- Positivism
- Isolationism
- Rational choice theory
- Critical theory
- Neoconservatism
- Functionalism
- Structuralism

All of which actually shape approaches to international relations and don’t involve idolising a low-grade author.

Well...all of that makes unnecessary assumptions about the academic and intellectual establishment. Nobody enjoys being called greedy or parasitic, and the pushback against Objectivism is largely due insecure, butthurt, intellectually bankrupt pseudo-academics. At best, the complaints made in this thread AGAINST Objectivism amount to red herrings.

The_Walrus wrote:
I would push back very strongly against the idea that the intervention in Afghanistan was bad for Afghanistan. Yes, about 50,000 civilians died over 20 years. But most of them died at the hands of the Taliban, who were already in control of most of Afghanistan in 2001. The Taliban ran a totalitarian Sharia regime, committing genocide, blocking food supplies to starving civilians, destroying tens of thousands of homes and religious sites. Mass rapes, ethnic cleansing, execution of children, sex trafficking, indiscriminate slaughter. The world should be proud that we stopped those evil people. Today Afghanistan is not perfect but it is a democracy, one in three girls is in school (compared to zero under the Taliban), and there is a constitutional right to freedom of religion. It’s a disgrace that the US is pulling out and allowing the Taliban to return, frankly.

I find this VERY interesting. This is mostly good. But the problem I have with US interference is that it seems no lasting inroads have been made in establishing an ongoing partnership with Afghanistan. I've gotten to know Christian missionaries secretly traveling in and out of Afghanistan who have facilitated trade of folk arts and crafts, and I mean genuinely beautiful cloth items and jewelry, in order to support mission work and give Afghan families relief. But this is not a significant, lasting, permanent strategy to build a prosperous Afghan economy that would benefit their people and global partners.

Sorry to keep harping on about Korea, but I think you might be right about US withdrawal and the possible return of the Taliban. Once the US withdrew from S. Korea, the Norks mobilized against Seoul and wasted little time in doing so. The Allies showed no such intentions in Germany, and the Korean War demonstrated that the Korean Republic couldn't last without cooperation with the UN. I think a similar pattern may happen in Afghanistan. But unlike Korea, I do not see evidence of willing cooperation and progress that justify ongoing occupation.

The_Walrus wrote:
A liberal worldview says that we have a duty to uphold human rights around the world. If a government is slaughtering its civilians, we should use military force to stop them. If an Objectivist disagrees with that they I would say that illustrates the failings of their ideology. Frankly I think even Objectivist principles support liberal interventionism.

How so?

The_Walrus wrote:
A realist point of view says, yes, interventions can be good, but states will only conduct them when it does not go against their rational self-interest.

Nor should they, and that's my whole point...and my whole conflict. Perhaps the answer is that intervention is not objectively bad as long as intervention is consistent with N.A.P. But does aggression that is not initiated by an intervening power qualify as violating N.A.P. (non-aggression principle)? Rescuing a friend from an aggressor out of rational self-interest rather than out of obligation is clearly an example of Objectivist intervention.

To completely satisfy Objectivist rational self-interest, the victim must willingly accept rescue, the rescuer has no obligation to saving the victim in the first place, and the victim has no obligation to repay the rescuer. Ragnar Danneskjold had no obligation to seize and recover assets extorted by the government from citizens through unreasonable taxation. It was rather his own personal conviction that people deserved to keep the money they'd earned, and he made every effort to restore wealth to those it had been stolen from. By no means did anyone owe him for his services. John Galt never asked to be rescued. He opted to fight his captors intellectually, even offering to help repair their torture device when it broke down, and never once used force against his enemies in any form. But he did prefer to put his own life at risk to save those he loved most--not as a sacrifice, but as an exchange.

Part of my question is--and pardon my insensitivity, but I'm keeping emotion out of it--what exactly is the US getting in return for Afghan intervention? I don't mean from Afghanistan itself, but even esoterically? I'm not seeing how US national self-interest is being served. Perhaps maintaining a strong, experienced military? Heck, there are less costly ways of doing that. I have other thoughts on that, but I'll save those for later...

The_Walrus wrote:
Upholding human rights is usually in the self-interest of countries that depend upon global prosperity and which have substantial militaries… but not if the abuser also has a substantial military. That’s why the US hasn’t intervened in Chechnya or East Turkestan.

Well...I mean, if it meant that much to the USA, that wouldn't necessarily be a deterrent. But it does show how fickle US foreign policy can be. I see no gain from intervening in those two places either.

The_Walrus wrote:
***

As for the subject of colonialism, first I think you have to define colonialism. The OED defines it as “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”

So let’s break that down into three parts: 1) acquiring full or partial political control over another country
2) occupying it with settlers
3) exploiting it economically

All three have to be met for an action to be colonialism.

Point 1) seems like it would not be justifiable under Objectivism. Acquiring control over another country is going to involve violation of the NAP unless that country has initiated some form of aggression either against you or against others.

More or less, but yeah, definitely. The colonization of North America by the British did not have a necessarily negative impact on the natives, at least not from the beginning, and the relationship was mutually beneficial. Because Indians did not have a national government in the same sense as Europeans, they never would have chafed living side-by-side with the colonies. The initial process of colonizing the Americas was not in violation of N.A.P. since the Indians consented to it and enjoyed the benefits of it. The same could not be said for later actions, hitting its worst level under persecution by Union military (not making a point about North/South relations, just stating a fact).

I'm less knowledgable about the same tactics used in China, India, and South Africa. It appears to me that British actions in at least India and China were deceptive from the outset with Chinese actions functioning as a domestic response to an invader. China and India both had functioning government and had nothing to gain from British interference--although India did manage to turn things around and establish a positive relationship with UK (ok, maybe it was the British that had to see the error of their ways, but whatever).

The_Walrus wrote:
Point 2) in isolation would seem acceptable. Border restrictions are largely violations of the NAP (with some limited exceptions like keeping out violence and disease). People should be allowed to live where they want. However, when it is combined with Point 1, this seems to be a way of consolidating control over a country. We have seen this prominently in, for example, British colonisation of Ireland, British colonisation of Australia, American “manifest destiny”, Chinese colonisation of Tibet, and Russian colonisation of Crimea.

I agree that people should be allowed to live where they like, and the advantage to any country is that they can attract the best talent and most productive workers. Without giving ex-NAZIS a new lease on life, the US never would have had a space program and all the technical innovation that goes with it. The moon shot was never about the moon, but the technical advancement that it took to get there. The computer I'm typing this on is more advanced than Apollo mission computers. The intellectual and technological health of a nation can only be improved with the free movement of people and ideas. And I bet you'd see drastic improvements in foreign policy once governments began competing for citizens.

The_Walrus wrote:
Point 3, economic exploitation, is tricky, because you have to define “economic exploitation”. The Marxist definition that all economic activity is exploitative if anyone makes a profit seems inadequate and would be rejected by Objectivists. Similarly, “exploitation” can simply mean “use”, but I feel like the term in this sense is intended to be pejorative - we would not argue that free trade exploits people. I would suggest that economic exploitation involves theft, coercion, force, or rent seeking. Theft, coercion, and force are objectionable to the Objectivist, and rent seeking might be if only they knew what it was. In the context of colonisation, I would say that things such as slavery, extraction of resources without compensation, lies about the value of goods, land theft, and forced trade would all be exploitative and objectionable to Objecivists.

Agreed.

The_Walrus wrote:
There is currently a school of thought among far-left activists that all military intervention, all trade, and all capitalism is inherently colonialism. This is of course nonsense, and if the far-left decides to push these definitions then they shouldn’t be surprised when most people (including Objectivists) conclude that colonialism is not inherently bad.

Hahaha!! ! Colonialism is only contingently bad.



AngelRho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2008
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,609
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

10 Jul 2021, 1:20 pm

My other thoughts on Afghanistan and American intervention is that when any nation experiences an internal conflict, such as a coup or a civil war, it is not objectively up to the rest of the civil world to intervene or interfere. There is no obligation. What you see in domestic conflict is that a breakdown of self-rule has occurred and one or more groups are responding to that. The United States suffered a unity crisis over states rights and slavery. France was buckling under a monarchy. The exact same thing happened in Russia by the start of the first world war, though too many men had died for a reign of terror. Stalin eventually got the Soviet Union caught up in that regard. Both France and England had New World interests to protect, hence involvement the in the American revolution worked to their advantage. France had absolutely nothing to offer the US when their own revolution broke out. The American South had nothing to offer England, and England was sufficiently sick of us by the conclusion of the War of 1812.

Emotionally, yes, genocide and slavery are horrible things and are warning signs of a nation's self-destruction. However, I still don't believe that the internal disintegration of a nation can be the concern of other nations. That's the real problem with foreign relations and trying to formulate an Objectivist policy. Governments exist at the consent of the governed. The Soviet Union had a violent birth, but it was born out of a popular uprising against the Tzar in the hope of creating a classless society in which the former wealth of the ruling class could be enjoyed by all Russia. For obvious reasons, this did not pan out. But at the time the people of Russia believed in it so much that American intervention in Russia would have been met on a more massive scale than prior Japanese resistance--indeed, total conquest of Japan was required in bringing about a cultural movement favorable to Western values. Likewise, the Taliban is made up of a tremendous force consisting of men who WANT to be there and consent to shariah law among other things. What's the point of intervening in a nation when the entire nation supports the ruling party? How was the Taliban able to commit genocide in the first place? They had an overwhelming number of people behind them, simple as that. If they choose mass murder, destruction, and technological/intellectual decay and self-destruction, why is that a concern to America?

Most Koreans at the time of the Korean War did not favor communism. Some half of the country simply got stuck with it whether they wanted it or not. Intervention by foreign power when an ally is invaded makes sense. The exact opposite was the situation in Vietnam where the democratic government was corrupt and so many of the Vietnamese people favored what communism had to offer.

And then you have a similar problem in the United States with our civil war. It's easy, such as in Korea, to liberate a people who universally or near-universally WANT to be liberated. While I will always agree that racism is a great evil and that the success of the Union in the Civil War was vital to the lasting success of the US as a nation, it is unfair to liberate a group of people such as African slaves who do not wish to be liberated. Under slavery, slaves did have food, shelter, and safety under their masters. They only lacked freedom. But by freeing slaves, the US government did not account for whether slaves wished to be free. By that, I mean that slaves had been forced into slaver; now they were forced into autonomy. Freedom that is imposed on a group of people IS NOT FREEDOM. Autonomy is something someone must assert from their own energy and determination. Many mistakes were made in the process of Reconstruction, and not even I can deny the shadow of racism still hangs over us. Given the choice to remain servants to their masters through redefining black servanthood while others could choose to leave the plantation, the transition from slavery to freedom could have been achieved without the lasting, negative impact segregation and Jim Crowe. American response to the Great Depression created a new kind of slavery, the slavery of the intellect, that has since kept black Americans impoverished and ignorant.

That's not freedom. I don't see how imposing Western values of freedom of Afghanistan has benefitted them. Same with Iraq. Sure, we've gotten rid of the worst terrorists on the planet, Iraq itself is no longer a destabilizing agent in the middle east, and both countries get to enjoy the benefits of democratically-elected governments. But where is the growth and progress of these nations? Are they really better off?

To be clear, my goal isn't to make or prove a point, but rather to discuss these points. I am not committed to any one viewpoint, nor am I making any assumption that any answers I get are automatically wrong. These are things that I myself am not sure about, thus they are topics worth exploring.



The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,603
Location: Reading, England

12 Jul 2021, 5:25 pm

AngelRho wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
I don’t think Randian Objectivism is a philosophy worth taking seriously. It has very little impact upon the foreign policy of any nation, and is primarily practiced by American teenagers with no knowledge of moral philosophy.

It would be far more interesting to talk about…

- Utilitarianism
- Liberalism
- Realism
- Constructivism
- Liberation theology
- Marxism
- Kantian ethics
- Aretaic ethics
- Positivism
- Isolationism
- Rational choice theory
- Critical theory
- Neoconservatism
- Functionalism
- Structuralism

All of which actually shape approaches to international relations and don’t involve idolising a low-grade author.

Well...all of that makes unnecessary assumptions about the academic and intellectual establishment. Nobody enjoys being called greedy or parasitic, and the pushback against Objectivism is largely due insecure, butthurt, intellectually bankrupt pseudo-academics. At best, the complaints made in this thread AGAINST Objectivism amount to red herrings.

You’re only proving my point…

The reason Rand isn’t influential is threefold:

- Her ideas aren’t actually particularly new. They were already well-studied at the time.

- Many of her ideas are demonstrably false. We already knew when she was writing that, yes, reducing the size of government often made things better. We also knew that it sometimes made things worse.

Do you think Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek were leftist snowflakes? Bryan Caplan? Michael Huemer? Chandran Kukathas? All advocates for very small government with lots of personal freedom… and all reject Rand’s prax.

Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
A liberal worldview says that we have a duty to uphold human rights around the world. If a government is slaughtering its civilians, we should use military force to stop them. If an Objectivist disagrees with that they I would say that illustrates the failings of their ideology. Frankly I think even Objectivist principles support liberal interventionism.

How so?

If you see someone getting beaten up in the street, the attacker has violated the non-aggression principle and you are justified in using force to prevent them punching your friend again.

Liberal intervention should follow the same principles. If someone is being oppressed then we should defend them.

Frankly an objectivist society that didn’t actively seek to preserve rights would soon be eradicated. If nobody stands up to people who break the rules then the people who break the rules get to subjugate people.

Also worth noting Rand herself supported outright colonialism, albeit for racist reasons, so I think she’d have no trouble supporting fighting dictators who she would have considered “savage”.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
A realist point of view says, yes, interventions can be good, but states will only conduct them when it does not go against their rational self-interest.

Nor should they, and that's my whole point...and my whole conflict. Perhaps the answer is that intervention is not objectively bad as long as intervention is consistent with N.A.P. But does aggression that is not initiated by an intervening power qualify as violating N.A.P. (non-aggression principle)? Rescuing a friend from an aggressor out of rational self-interest rather than out of obligation is clearly an example of Objectivist intervention.

To completely satisfy Objectivist rational self-interest, the victim must willingly accept rescue, the rescuer has no obligation to saving the victim in the first place, and the victim has no obligation to repay the rescuer. Ragnar Danneskjold had no obligation to seize and recover assets extorted by the government from citizens through unreasonable taxation. It was rather his own personal conviction that people deserved to keep the money they'd earned, and he made every effort to restore wealth to those it had been stolen from. By no means did anyone owe him for his services. John Galt never asked to be rescued. He opted to fight his captors intellectually, even offering to help repair their torture device when it broke down, and never once used force against his enemies in any form. But he did prefer to put his own life at risk to save those he loved most--not as a sacrifice, but as an exchange.

Part of my question is--and pardon my insensitivity, but I'm keeping emotion out of it--what exactly is the US getting in return for Afghan intervention? I don't mean from Afghanistan itself, but even esoterically? I'm not seeing how US national self-interest is being served. Perhaps maintaining a strong, experienced military? Heck, there are less costly ways of doing that. I have other thoughts on that, but I'll save those for later...

For starters I’m not sure how you square any of this with your Christianity, but that’s a whole other discussion…

What does the US get out of Afghanistan? Well for starters it shouldn’t matter. To good people, all that matters is that it is the right thing to do. An ethical philosophy which rejects that is a failed ethical philosophy. (Realism is not an ethical philosophy, but a way of understanding the world).

But beyond that… have you ever heard of 9/11? When America allows states to fall into the control of terrorists, soon they start exporting that terrorism to the US. Reduced terrorism is of benefit to the US.

While Afghanistan’s location makes a strong economy all but impossible, political stability does benefit its economy and the economy of neighbouring countries (particularly Pakistan). This benefits the American economy too, because having more trading partners makes you richer.
Quote:
Hahaha!! ! Colonialism is only contingently bad.

That’s certainly not what I was saying- it was more that “settling” is not inherently bad, but when it is bad we call it “colonialism”. It’s a bit like the difference between murder and killing. Murder is always bad, even though there are occasions when killing is justifiable - if it is justified then it isn’t murder. Similarly, there are circumstances in which settling is not bad, but when it is bad we call it colonialism.



shlaifu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,169

12 Jul 2021, 8:26 pm

The_Walrus wrote:

What does the US get out of Afghanistan?
[...]
But beyond that… have you ever heard of 9/11? When America allows states to fall into the control of terrorists, soon they start exporting that terrorism to the US. Reduced terrorism is of benefit to the US.



Afghanistan has been "problematic" for the last two hundred years. Under British rule, ideas of nationalism came up there. A few of the countries in the region are awful dictatorships or monarchies, but they are either US allies or the Shiite Iran. - A Sunni Islamic Nation (like, an actual Nation, not a historic artefact like the Afghan borders are), whith the intent of self-governance, not by default allied with the US or whoever is the hegemonic power at the time (it used to the British when this got started), in the world's most oil-rich region....
the Afghans of the 19th century were dreaming of a Khalifate, a revived Ottoman empire that could industrialize and eventually stand on its own, and not be a British, Soviet or American colony/banana republic.

The US like their banana republics, though.


_________________
I can read facial expressions. I did the test.


The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,603
Location: Reading, England

13 Jul 2021, 8:19 am

I didn’t bother reading that second post. I have now, and honestly… what the hell? “The slaves didn’t want to be freed”. Christ on a bike. If you’re trying to convince people that your philosophy deserves to be treated seriously then start out by not saying the most objectively morally repugnant thing you can think of. You are painting Objectivism as a deeply evil philosophy.



Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 50,694
Location: Stendec

13 Jul 2021, 8:26 am

↑ I have collected a list of similar malicious falsehoods expressed by people around me since the 1960's.

"The slaves didn’t want to be freed" is #21.

However, recording, reviewing, and editing those expressions (to remove gratuitous profanity) makes me feel both angry and physically ill.

Racism is a cancer.


_________________
 Link to Official List of Trump's Atrocities 

45OFFICE = TRE45ON
Lock Him Up!


AngelRho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2008
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,609
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

13 Jul 2021, 9:10 am

The_Walrus wrote:
I didn’t bother reading that second post. I have now, and honestly… what the hell? “The slaves didn’t want to be freed”. Christ on a bike. If you’re trying to convince people that your philosophy deserves to be treated seriously then start out by not saying the most objectively morally repugnant thing you can think of. You are painting Objectivism as a deeply evil philosophy.

I didn’t say they didn’t want to be freed. I said the federal government didn’t account for whether they wanted to be freed. Imposing freedom on someone who doesn’t want to be free is just differently-packaged slavery. Republicans did well to abolish slavery. They didn’t have an adequate plan for the aftermath. If you want to free slaves, why would you leave policy making for the political party that wanted to keep slaves in the first place?

A better solution might have been to concentrate freed slaves into areas where they would be protected from former slave owners, Klansmen, etc., and begin a program to reintegrate them into the public sector across two or three generations and phase out sanctuaries as they are no longer needed. It would not have been in any freed slave’s interest to be under the care of a slave owner, such as it was, only to be forced out entirely on his own and vulnerable to lynch mobs, Jim Crowe, and segregation.



The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,603
Location: Reading, England

13 Jul 2021, 4:00 pm

You said, and I quote, “it is unfair to liberate a group of people such as African slaves who do not wish to be liberated”.

The idea that “forcing freedom” upon people is tyranny is plainly nonsense which can be dismissed out of hand. So is the idea that Lincoln didn’t account for whether the slaves wanted to be freed. Of course he did, and they overwhelmingly did.

Why didn’t Lincoln do a better job with Reconstruction? Oh geez, that’s a real headscratcher. Wait, no it isn’t. He was murdered.

The freed slaves had the option to relocate to the North if they wanted to. Forced mass transportation would clearly have been unethical.

They also had the option of paid employment by their former slavers, assuming the slaver was willing.

I am not going to waste any more time discussing this with you. You’re asking for a discussion about a nut case ideology and are apparently unfamiliar with every other ideology in the world, you’re making a lot of elementary mistakes, and you keep proposing deeply evil policies which highlight the intellectual and moral flaws with your proclaimed philosophy, and not in a self-aware way. It is becoming increasingly apparent that you are attempting to push a defence of the Confederacy. Again, anyone who does so has clearly failed to develop a moral character. You have a long history of homophobic statements and you have admitted to being a serial rapist. Go away and read some actual moral philosophy and maybe one day you’ll be able to discuss ethical issues without making a fool of yourself. The positions you currently hold are those of someone in the bottom 1% of humanity and no internet discussion is likely to fix you.



AngelRho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2008
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,609
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

14 Jul 2021, 12:43 am

The_Walrus wrote:
You said, and I quote, “it is unfair to liberate a group of people such as African slaves who do not wish to be liberated”.

The idea that “forcing freedom” upon people is tyranny is plainly nonsense which can be dismissed out of hand. So is the idea that Lincoln didn’t account for whether the slaves wanted to be freed. Of course he did, and they overwhelmingly did.

Why didn’t Lincoln do a better job with Reconstruction? Oh geez, that’s a real headscratcher. Wait, no it isn’t. He was murdered.

The freed slaves had the option to relocate to the North if they wanted to. Forced mass transportation would clearly have been unethical.

They also had the option of paid employment by their former slavers, assuming the slaver was willing.

I am not going to waste any more time discussing this with you. You’re asking for a discussion about a nut case ideology and are apparently unfamiliar with every other ideology in the world, you’re making a lot of elementary mistakes, and you keep proposing deeply evil policies which highlight the intellectual and moral flaws with your proclaimed philosophy, and not in a self-aware way. It is becoming increasingly apparent that you are attempting to push a defence of the Confederacy. Again, anyone who does so has clearly failed to develop a moral character. You have a long history of homophobic statements and you have admitted to being a serial rapist. Go away and read some actual moral philosophy and maybe one day you’ll be able to discuss ethical issues without making a fool of yourself. The positions you currently hold are those of someone in the bottom 1% of humanity and no internet discussion is likely to fix you.

Defense of the Confederacy? That’s a new one. Racial slavery is perhaps the ultimate form of collectivism. As far as I’m concerned the Confederate battle flag and the hammer and sickle are the same thing. They represent the same thing, at least. If you insist that I’m promoting slavery then you’re making a straw man argument. Part of your problem is that you’re making unnecessary assumptions from the outset without even considering the truth of Objectivist philosophy. It is irrational to evaluate a thing from a point of bias. I choose to view the world through an objectivist lens and am interested in a discussion of same.

Objectivism isn’t concerned with an emotionally sensitive view of the world. Irrational people are brutal, and brutal people invite brutal ends on themselves. The reality of slavery in society is ugly and cannot be best resolved without facing yet more ugly realities. I’m not justifying anything people did along the way. I’m just saying

I’ve gone back and reread my posts in this topic and I cannot find where I said those exact words. I’m in the habit of choosing my words carefully. I still make mistakes and sometimes find it difficult to make myself understood. But I’m not seeing that exact combination of words, and it’s out of character considering context and my intent. I do stand behind my view on freedom and liberation, which I believe is objectively consistent: It is not freedom when it is imposed on a person. If government can arbitrarily grant or revoke freedom, then no person under that government is free. Emancipation was not a choice. It was an order handed down from on high by a white man. Freedmen, runaways, and those born into freedom can make the choice to remain free or not. Those trapped in slavery cannot. And when the US government began making their decisions for them, it set a precedent for a string of failed or failing policies that only served the purpose of keeping blacks on the metaphorical plantation.

Homophobic statements? Sure, I find the idea of gay sex revolting. So what? People who identify as LGBT or whatever have no less rights than I do. What do I care about what people do in the privacy of their bedroom? Are you making personal attacks on me now? Is that what this is? I’m no stranger to mods on here, and I’m pretty sure I know what I can post and what I can’t. Attacking me when I make the effort to keep unwelcome thoughts to myself is unnecessary. I’ve even had this chat with Alex just to make sure I was clear on what is acceptable and what is not and made every effort to follow site rules. Why not just keep things civil and stick to the topic?



zacb
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 May 2012
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,117

16 Jul 2021, 12:08 am

Jiheisho wrote:
Hopefully, we have moved on from Ayn Rand. We should have better frameworks to answer those questions.


Like the guy who had to leech off his best friend. No thanks.