Saturday, June 21, 2008

Around the World Wide Web 67

1. For all the talk of Obama being a "naif," he seems to understand power well enough:

Barack Obama’s move to merge key elements of the Democratic National Committee into his own campaign’s Chicago headquarters appears aimed at the goal of a centralized and united Democratic Party.

The shift of the DNC’s political and field organizing operations to Chicago will consolidate the Democratic presidential campaign apparatus more than in either of the last two cycles, when staffers at DNC headquarters overlapped – and occasionally competed – with aides to Al Gore and John Kerry.

The Clinton gang is dead. It's my party now, see?

I can't help thinking another famous Chicagoan from the Prohibition Era would have approved.

2. The most morally abhorrent film ever made. His argument sounds right to me.

3. Yaron Brook writes about the trend of increasing statism around the world. This is a brilliant article. Brook is particularly good at concretizing how the morality of altruism leads to statism. You don't want to miss this one.

4. Leonard Peikoff's June 9 podcast addresses treason, torture, declaring war and military people as "public servants," among other things. His June 17 podcast addresses military as a career, what Ayn Rand meant by "man as a heroic being," the "afterlife" and immigration, among other things.

5. Obama as Star Wars crawl. You can make one yourself.

6. Worst album covers ever.


mike18xx said...

Quoting Brook's article:
> Capitalism will remain the world's punching bag until such time
> as the profit motive is rescued from moral oblivion. Ideas
> shape history--and therefore political reform requires
> active, fundamental intellectual change, not passive reliance
> on favorable trends.

This is the exact sort of completely useless naval-gazing that Objectivist couch-potatoes have indulged for decades. I.e., if only (our) talk( would have results (because, somehow, people with clout would listen to us when time has proven they won't), everything would be better.

Well, Virginia, it don't work that way (and there isn't any Santa Claus either).


Paraphrasing Brooks: "*Force* 'shapes' history -- and therefore political reform requires active, fundamental ass-kicking of corrupt evil scumbags (especially those in a political institution nearest you), not passive reliance on talking yourself blue in the face."

(I swear to a non-existent God that a mere hundred committed guys with brains and rifles could have overthrown Castro at any point in the last two decades -- which is, one may remember, the way he got in.)

Myrhaf said...

Without philosophic change force cannot effect permanent change. At best it would substitute one gang for another.

If force shapes history, not ideas, then why do you bother arguing? You are using reason, not force, hoping to defeat Brook's idea with your idea. This contradicts your idea, which is that force, not ideas is fundamental.

Jim May said...

Force -- guided by *what*, exactly?

mike18xx said...

Ideas alone do nothing.

In 2008, ideas are fountaining out of everyone's ears -- but nobody will get off the couch.

And so: Evil wins.

Myrhaf said...

It is true that one must act to gain or keep one's values. Spreading ideas is a form of action. Donating to ARI is action.

mike18xx said...

> Spreading ideas is a form of action.

No it isn't; it's a form of TALKING.

...."The Fountainhead" was made into a film in 1949 -- almost 60 years ago now. Do you really think Ayn Rand's ideas are ever going to reach a higher percentage of human consciousness than they did a half-century ago? Throughout the last half-century of spreading ideas (without, however, any real "action to gain or keep one's values"), has the general state of human liberty advanced or declined?


Sheep with logically air-tight epistemology regarding sheep-rights...are still sheep. As far as the wolf is concerned, you exist only to be eaten.

Myrhaf said...

Plato, Aristotle, Jesus and Augustine all did a lot of talking. Either they or someone else wrote down what they said (or in Jesus's case, perhaps imagined it). Their talking has changed the world at different times in history. Ideas have consequences.

madmax said...

So Mike, who would you start shooting? I'm curious.

mike18xx said...

How about these guys?

Do you get it? All the talk in the world means squat to them. The last thousand years have been an object lesson of the absolute worst element of humanity spreading like a blight over a fourth of the world.

It quite literally represents de-evolution of the species.

Civilization as you think you know it is *impossible* with those sorts running around, and when your own government won't let you deal with them on a piecemeal basis, you really are screwed. Imagining that furthering a spread of ideas (already available for decades if not centuries, at the nearest library or search-engine) will bring about a solution is pure fantasy.

Myrhaf said...

That link is about Jihadists in Iraq. If you want to shoot them, join the Marines!