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Thread: Where are the libertarians in the coronavirus pandemic?

  1. Top | #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post

    I particularly enjoy the accusations of selfishness from people who are so willing to say "Government, that guy isn't doing what I want him to. Point your gun at him and make him. Then take his money away to pay for whatever project I think he should fund."
    Please provide an actual instance if an actual person who says such a thing?
    Your reading comprehension problems are not my problem.
    Thank you for confirmation of yet another straw man. Of course, the “point your gun at him and make him” was a dead giveaway.

  2. Top | #82
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    It's not a straw man to point out that you have a reading comprehension problem. It is just a fact of nature. Speech is not your native tongue.

  3. Top | #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    It's not a straw man to point out that you have a reading comprehension problem.
    I agree, it is just a insult to evade discussion on your part. The irony of your accusation of a reading comprehension problem is truly hilarious since it is obvious I did nit address your insult.

  4. Top | #84
    Veteran Member Arctish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arctish View Post

    You mean like Francisco d'Anconia, who lured people into believing they could trust him, a Captain of Industry, to set a safe and profitable course right up to the moment he revealed he had deliberately screwed them over and then ran off to Galt's Gulch?

    Yeah, I can see the similarity.



    That's how Rand saw it.

    It's right there in her book. The doctor who refuses to share his life saving technique unless he has unlimited profit and can turn away anyone he doesn't want to treat, Dagny's reaction to a socialized healthcare plan for autoworkers, her reaction to the story of a man who beat a child so severely he knocked out every tooth in her mouth because his community decided she needed braces more than he needed to buy a new record (Dagny's sympathy was for the man,not the 8-year old victim; so was Rand's for that matter), and most of all, her Objectivist heroes crisply stating they feel absolutely no obligation to help anyone but themselves and then proving it.

    John Galt plotted to bring about the death of billions of people and then did it. The Objectivists in the Gulch knew that all their family and friends not currently in the Gulch would go through hell on Earth, that if any of them survived it would be damn mean miraculous, and they approved. Do you honestly think an Objectivist would care about millions dying from a viral infection?
    If that is how you want to interpret it, that's up to you.
    That's how Rand wanted her readers to interpret it. This is how she has her character Dr. Hendricks explain it:

    "I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward."

    He wanted to pick and choose his patients and he wanted to maximize his profit just like all the other residents who gaze upon Midas Mulligan's golden dollar sign with pride and delight. And about that medical breakthrough of his:

    "No, Miss Taggart, I have not given up medicine. I have spent the last six years on research. I have discovered a method to protect the blood vessels of the brain from that fatal rupture which is known as a brain stroke. It will remove from human existence the terrible threat of sudden paralysis… No, not a word of my method will be heard outside.".

    Dr. Hendricks would let coronavirus patients die, even the ones he could easily save. Rand would, too. And all True Objectivists must, because the founding tenet of Objectivism is self-interest above all else. You as an individual might choose to help someone for your own reasons but they have to be selfish reasons to pass Objectivist muster. Rand despised altruism and utterly rejected the notion that people have an obligation to act on the behalf of others. Her philosophy leaves no room for dissent on that score.

    Of course those who were hiding out in Galt's Gulch were all on strike. Are you saying they didn't have a right to go on strike?
    Sure, they had the right. Anyone can sit on their ass and be as unproductive as they like. All those folks in the Gulch could be hobos and beach bums for all I care. But Rand wanted us to admire them. She wanted us to admire a doctor who let people die because his selfish demands for vast wealth and the power to choose who gets his life saving treatments weren't met.

    I don't admire him. Do you?


    You're right about one thing - he did help destroy the wealth of a lot of businessmen. Of course in the book ALL businessmen were heroes, including James Taggart and Orren Boyle. Yep, they were certainly heroes in the book. Not like the little people, like the dime store worker Cherryl Brooks. She was poor so she was a villain.
    Cherryl Brooks was doomed from the start. She wasn't one of the Chosen Few true capitalists Galt wanted to recruit. She couldn't invent a new way to drill for oil. She didn't go to work in a coal mine at the age of 12 and become its owner 6 years later. She couldn't run a railroad or invent a new metallurgical process or be the most successful pirate in history. She had no place in Galt's Gulch and was facing the same fate as Eddie Willers - to be left to die in the rubble of the destroyed economy by the people who destroyed it. All she could do was realize the futility of her hopes and dreams and kill herself.

    I think Rand wanted us ordinary folks to see ourselves in her, and be properly humbled.


    ETA: Just to be clear, I recognize differences between Objectivism and other varieties of Libertarianism. I am focusing on Objectivism because of the question posed in the OP and the fact that Paul Ryan's hostility to government being involved with healthcare is affecting the US government response to the pandemic even though he left Congress last year.
    Last edited by Arctish; 03-24-2020 at 06:45 AM.

  5. Top | #85
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctish View Post

    That's how Rand wanted her readers to interpret it. This is how she has her character Dr. Hendricks explain it:

    "I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward."

    He wanted to pick and choose his patients and he wanted to maximize his profit just like all the other residents who gaze upon Midas Mulligan's golden dollar sign with pride and delight. And about that medical breakthrough of his:

    "No, Miss Taggart, I have not given up medicine. I have spent the last six years on research. I have discovered a method to protect the blood vessels of the brain from that fatal rupture which is known as a brain stroke. It will remove from human existence the terrible threat of sudden paralysis… No, not a word of my method will be heard outside.".

    ,<snip>.
    The basic flaw in Rand's economic premise is that all her narcissistic millionaires think their genius is unique and unreproducible. Through out history, the number one reason for not doing something useful and beneficial was because it wasn't possible. When something becomes possible, the knowledge that someone did it, guarantees the possibility of of someone else doing it. Human's have wished to fly since there were humans, but few ever tried it until the 20th century when the necessary technology bloomed. If the Wright Brothers had flown into Galt's Gulch, waiting for a better price for their airplane, in a year there would have been about a dozen more in the air, and half would be better than the Wright flying machine.

    Modern society has recognized the value of having smart people around to create cool stuff like preventing strokes, so we have an incredibly complicated legal system dedicated to patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Even so, we aren't stupid enough to let a bunch of smart guys push us around. Mr. Brain Doctor can demand all the money in the world. All he has done is make it more lucrative to duplicate his work and then take his market share with lower prices.

    To put it another way, when in history have people voluntarily put themselves into slavery because someone smart said it was the thing to do?

  6. Top | #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Still waiting on the libertarian policy on the covid-19 pandemic. Your inability to produce to one does lend credence to the conclusion that there is no policy whatsoever.
    Step one: asses the severity of the situation
    Step two: realize the biggest problem is the stupidity of the reaction of the people.
    THAT’S your plan?

    Well, I mean, that’s a PLAN?

    So what’s step 3? Sit back and laugh?
    Is there a step 3?
    Or do you really stop at step 2 and just stand there, catatonic, noticing the stupidity of mankind?


    Are you serious that this is your answer to the question, “If you, a libertarian, were in charge, what would your plan be?” That’s rerally your answer?

  7. Top | #87
    Veteran Member Canard DuJour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Canard DuJour View Post
    Where are the libertarians in the coronavirus pandemic?
    John Galt develops a vaccine which he sells for either a $billion a shot, or voluntary contract slavery.

    The billionaires and slaves live happily ever after, liberated from the dead hand of government.
    I particularly enjoy the accusations of selfishness from people who are so willing to say "Government, that guy isn't doing what I want him to. Point your gun at him and make him. Then take his money away to pay for whatever project I think he should fund."
    See, that's so weird in so many ways.

    Isn't selfishness a Randian virtue - indeed, the Randian virtue? Are you saying they're equally selfish? One insufficiently selfish? Shouldn't you utterly repudiate any "accusation" of selfishness and exhort accusers to celebrate any selfishness? Are you implying some kind hypocrisy or just "particularly enjoying" selfishness in general? Does the celebration of selfishness have some political dimension with vested interests? Winners and losers?

    When sensible folks hear talk about liberty, they usually want to know whose liberty to do what? At least most do when they're older than about sixteen.

  8. Top | #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Still waiting on the libertarian policy on the covid-19 pandemic. Your inability to produce to one does lend credence to the conclusion that there is no policy whatsoever.
    Step one: asses the severity of the situation
    Step two: realize the biggest problem is the stupidity of the reaction of the people.
    THAT’S your plan?

    Well, I mean, that’s a PLAN?

    So what’s step 3? Sit back and laugh?
    Is there a step 3?
    Or do you really stop at step 2 and just stand there, catatonic, noticing the stupidity of mankind?


    Are you serious that this is your answer to the question, “If you, a libertarian, were in charge, what would your plan be?” That’s really your answer?
    Don't you recognize libbertard "humor"?

  9. Top | #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Don't you recognize libbertard "humor"?
    Do you think it was intended to be humorous? Well, no, I was unable to detect anything funny about it. It was too incomplete to even be a good joke.


    You know, there are two kinds of people:
    1. Those who can draw inferences from incomplete information,

  10. Top | #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post

    THAT’S your plan?

    Well, I mean, that’s a PLAN?

    So what’s step 3? Sit back and laugh?
    Is there a step 3?
    Or do you really stop at step 2 and just stand there, catatonic, noticing the stupidity of mankind?


    Are you serious that this is your answer to the question, “If you, a libertarian, were in charge, what would your plan be?” That’s really your answer?
    Don't you recognize libbertard "humor"?
    Not humor. Just deflecting. That's all people with no argument know how to do.

    Edit: my god. I just realized that's what libertarians are taught to do: believe in the bootstraps, be as selfish as possible, and proclaim everyone else is an idiot. That last bit.. it's a religious belief. It's a belief system whose primary adherants do not question. A system which assumes it's axioms (here said axiom is "I am intelligent, I would not believe something flawed; my intelligence would spot the flaws!" While not realizing Moore's law creates a situation where they are unlikely to be at the lowest point on all error surfaces.

    Maybe they're actually smart. I have yet to see it. Maybe they just forgot to bring that Galaxy brain with. Maybe they left it with their actual sense of humor.

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