Requests for Information related to Thomas Jefferson


>I had invited a friend of mine to see the new "Star Wars" preview I had
>recorded on my VCR. And I made mistake of telling him that George
>Lucas was going to make an anti-capitalist statement in the new
>(There is no "empire" in the new films, but there is an evil "trade
>federation"  that will try to exploit a planet; it's the source of conflict in
>the new films.)

I hadn't heard about the film, but it sounds like an interesting -- and more
realistic! -- premise.  As someone once said, "Just follow the money."
People rarely exploit other people out of simple meaness; there is
always a buck involved.  Whereas I would never be in opposition to
*regulated* capitalism, it is the unregulated (laissez-faire) capitalism that
causes all the trouble.  As soon as you add "regulated" to the term
capitalism, you have asserted the supremacy of a nation's people over
financial interests.  Those who prefer the supremacy of financial
interests over a nation's people don't like that, but then, that's what
exploitation is all about, isn't it?  That's why we had an American
Revolution: to assert the supremacy of the people of America over the
British financial interests, who wanted to exploit the American people
and reduce them to a kind of economic subjugation.  The Objectivists
wish to do just about the same thing, though they clothe their intentions
in intricate intellectual manipulations.

>It was then that my friend literally besieged me with this
>libertarian ethic, and trains of thought.  Essentially, he was trying to
>challenge my whole world view right then and there.  "Whats wrong
>Capitalism?"Do you think its right to force your views on others". You
>the idea.

I've heard it all.  They want to deny a majority of the American people
their right to make decisions in the best interest of all, in order to give
supremacy to the views of a small minority who think they are the only
ones blessed with the ability to make reasoned choices..

> I replied that we don't force ideas in America, everything is
>decided thorugh our democracy.  Oh MAN! Then my friend turned into
>some cultish Jehovas Witness asking me what my definiton of fairness
>was, and do I think fairness can be determined by majority rule...

Is fairness determined by minority rule?  No; they will say fairness is
determined by reason, but whose reason?  Ayn Rand's naturally.  The
fact is, majority rule does not determine truth, fairness, justice, (mom,
apple pie, the flag, etc. ;-) or any of those good things.  Majority rule
determines one thing: the will of the people.  It is an acceptable way of
making decisions for a whole group of people.  Almost any club or
organization or corporate board of directors makes decisions that way,
unless the members are just a rubber stamp for some dictator or select
dictatorial group.  I would bet that the board of directors (assuming they
have one) of the Ayn Rand Institute make decision by majority rule,
since Ayn Rand is not here to tell them what is the "correct" decision.

>I think I defended myself okay.  But I was left bruised and battered
>philosophically.  I essentially fought a battle unarmed (unprepared).
>it was  later that I stumbled onto your website for some intellectual
>Somehing or someone who would back up my arguments.  And I found
>you.  Thank you for your well reasoned arguments and easy to peruse

Glad to help.  In dealing with Objectivists, it is often a difficult job cutting
through all the obfuscations.  Basically, they are people who are very
intelligent, but they have not thought through the real implications of
their often complex theories.  They can be pretty naive about it, too.
They believe that all decisions should be made according to reason, but
it never occurs to them that everybody believes the same thing, and that
it then becomes a matter of the majority's reason against the minority's.
Of course, being Objectivists, they naturally thing THEIR reasoning is
superior to all others.

>It is strictly coincidence however, that the last thing I told my friend
>before leaving that day was that: "the only way you grow emotionally is
>to read, study, and understand  ideas that are 180 degrees opposed to
>your own."  Something you echo on your web pages.

That is the way you grow emotionally and intellectually.  Reasoned
opposition is often of greater value than  agreement, although an
agreeing person can often add and reinforce the views you hold, thus
confirming your own with more support than you thought you had.  That
is the way the reasoning process works.  But the Objectivists don't see it
that way.  To them, proper reasoning must be in accord with their
system, not realizing that as soon as you have established a system and
a thought procedure, you have limited the extent to which your mind is
free to explore for real solutions.  


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