11/30/2008

Welcome To The Intellectual Patty Duke Show

Great intellectual debates never die, they just update their wardrobes and get new hair styles. What more obvious proof do we need that the following quotes by Ayn Rand and Hannah Montana. Those the quotes were put down with more than 60 years of time between, it is clear that the intention remains the same. Read on and let me know it you agree...

"The creator stands on his own judgment; the parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks; the parasite copies. The creator produces; the parasite loots. The creator's concern is the conquest of nature; the parasite's concern is the conquest of men. The creator requires independence. He neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice.”

Ayn Rand


"I do love you…but only as much as I’d love a pet fish… I’d cry if I had to flush you down the toilet but I don’t want to kiss you."

Hanna Montana

6 comments:

Roadkill said...

Sunny,

Of course, Ayn Rand is talking on the one hand about capitalist captains of industry, who invest their own wealth, time and energy into ideas that create wealth, and on the other, of the governmental bureaucrats who tax (loot) that wealth under threat of force to use it as they see fit.

Government types (i.e. politicians and bureaucrats) never created anything themselves – certainly not the wealth they are taking (looting) from its creators; for them, in their arrogance backed by the power of the state, the act of seizing and using the wealth of others is somehow deemed a moral act.

Rand accurately describes the process as an immoral act of theft.

So who is the creator and who is the looter in the Montana – fish story?

Sunny B said...

Where does the concept of morality come from? Is it Bible-based or religion based or is it based on the individual? Rand is confusing in that she seems to have created her own religion and her religion is morally superior to say the Judeo-Christian religion.

Like Jesus or Mohammad, Ryn seems to have her own fundementalist goose steppers.

Roadkill said...

Sunny,

Those are actually pretty good philosphical questions. Where does the idea of morality come from, and how is it defined?

I think that the great monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), all of which trace their roots to the biblical Abraham, embrace the moral code of the ten commandments. But other, non Abrahamic sources, such as the Hamurabic Code, also condemn theft.

The question really boils down to whether you think that taxation is moral. Its an age-old question, of course, which while answered cleverly by Jesus is also implicitly condemned in His parables which uniformly paint Tax Collectors as immoral agents of the state.

But as I've mentioned before, I vehemently disagree with Rand's athism, and agree with your suggestion that many anti-religionists are devoutly so.

Oh, by the way, Communist parades in the old USSR and Red China and Vietnam routinely displayed goose-stepping soldiers. Maybe goose-stepping is nothing more than an affectation of godless political systems.

Sunny B said...

RK:

Is it whether you "think" or "believe" that taxation is moral? Maybe you don't think or believe there is a difference between the two words, but I think it's important to explore the thought here.

To me, "think" means you have thought it out and weighed the evidence and options and concluded that, based on the evidence you reviewed, you think taxes are moral or immoral. "Believe," on the other hand, seems to be based less on solid study and exploration of the issue and more of convenient acceptance of the concept.

I think there is a God v. I believe there is a God could be interpreted as pointing to the same thing. Just because I think there is a God doesn't mean I believe in God. But then again, if I believe in God, I must therefore think there is a God. Seems like I'm running into some logical arguments.

I think taxes are a necessary part of our national society. Are we a world of 6 billion individuals or a community of 6 billion? On the other hand, is the US a subset community of 301 million or is it 301 million individuals?

Nobody makes me live in the US, although being born here gives me citizenship and certain legal entanglements that might not make me as portable to other countries I might choose to live. I've acquire a language, customs, habits and mindsets because of my origin of birth.

I look at the taxes I pay as part of the cost of living in the local, county, state, national and global communities I live in. When I get right down to it, I am a single entity representing myself in a sea of 6 billion entities of global humanity. I see it as part of my job to support the sea of humanity. I may not like how everything is spent, but I also know that nobody plays by the same set of moral rules. We tweak things to our individual tastes and needs.

As for those who consider taxes as moral theft of the individual fruits of their individual labor, I say not all you gains are gotten by the individual sweat of your brow. The collective sweat of the community goes into paving the roads, cleaning the water, chasing away the wolves, etc. that can't be accomplished by the individual in the world.

We've had discussions that led down this same road before. The fact that you "think" and I "believe" something that conflict points to the gray area that leads to discussions such as this.

Ayn Rand has just as much right to wrap the legs of her idealism around atheism as you do to vehemently disagree with. You can’t prove you’re correct and she can't prove see is correct. More of the gray area that makes life interesting.

I've also notice groups like Aryan National and other "God fearing" white supremacy groups like to do the goose stepping thing. They tell us they are trying to save our country for democracy.

Go figure...

Roadkill said...

Sunny,

I believe that you are over-thinking things here. But as to the issue at hand:

As you are well aware, we here in the Unites States have a written constitution that ascribes limited and enumerated powers to the national (federal) government. It also says that all other powers and rights are retained by the states, or the people. To the extent that we have strayed from those constitutional principles we have acted imprudently and unconstitutionally, with the exception of the impact of the 14th amendment (due process and incorporation clauses).

But I think (and believe!) that it is useful to go back to some fundamentals regarding the morality of taxation.

In 1787, the founders had recently fought a protracted war against an oppressive and rapacious regime that did not respect their property rights, so when they set out to construct a government for themselves they were careful to limit its power and reach. In particular, the founders sought to protect the fruits of the citizen's labor, from both the ruling classes and the covetous masses.

John Locke, the English political philosopher who had a profound influence on the founding fathers, declared that "The great and chief end, therefore, of Men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their property." (Para 124, 2nd Treatise)

And as James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution" said in a 1788 letter to Jefferson: "Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of property rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents."

The founders believed in majority rule, but also in protecting the minority from the majority. That was the chief reason for a divided legislative branch, and the creation of a protocol-bound and state-appointed Senate that could dampen the passionate actions of a popularly elected House of Representatives.

You speak of roads, national defense, mail delivery, a common exchange. Well sure, these are all legitimate roles for the National Government, and are activities that require the support of tax revenues. But our national government has strayed far beyond such fundamental roles, and in involved in every facet of our lives. Why is our limited national government involved in funding art, or public media, or workplace rules? Why is our limited government redistributing the wealth the of nation via welfare programs, healthcare programs, and social security? These functions were not deigned or envisioned by the founders, and are clearly outside the parameters of our governmental system as written.

At what point do liberals such as yourself start to worry that the purses of the wealthy producers in society may move out of reach, and that the looting culture of the non-producers will collapse from lack of funding? At what point do we become economically moribund, like old Europe, and begin our slow descent into national hardship and poverty? At what point do we cease being the shining city on a hill, the last best hope of mankind, and the country that most of the rest of the world longs to come to for economic and political freedom? The answer is when the over-looted producers in our society decide that they can find a better tax and business climate elsewhere, and move offshore.

A bleak vision, I agree, and hopefully one that will not transpire. But such a future is not our of the question.

In the meantime, here are a few subjects for future posts: Should every adult American be required to pay something towards the support of the government, even if it means paying taxes from welfare benefits received? Or this: Should taxes be debited from bank accounts instead of paychecks, so that each American can better understand how much money the government is taking from them? Or how about this: Each American has to write out a check for the full amount of their annual taxes each April 15, in one payment.

I posit that any one of these scenarios would result in a second American Revolution.

Sunny B said...

RK:

Isn't there a Constitutional amendment allowing for income taxation? I believe it is the 16th Amendment. I also believe taxes have been levied on and off throughout the history of this nation until the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913.

I think your statement about about the foudning fathers waging a revolution against "an oppressive and rapacious regime that did not respect their property rights" has a spinkle of fairy tale dust in it. It was the business elite that struck the Revolutionary War match. They were along way from the seat of British government and didn't like any type of taxation. Even the minimal taxes levied on them and used as an excuse to make war.

Whatever the case, the members of Congress and the President are elected by the people. If people don't like the way thinks are run, they need to vote the bums out. That seems how it works to me.

I'm less of a liberal than you think and would prefer to be tagged a "pragmatist." But you are doing the tagging. I would also say that I'm more active in my local, school, state, etc. forms of government that 95 percent of the people I know. I can assure you there will be no second American Revolution. People are too damn lazy to revolt.

As I've done for the past 40 years, I personally fill out my taxes and see what comes in and what goes out. Personally, it doesn't seem to be that out of line and I don't agree with large portions of what my money gets spent on. I also think a large portion of it goes to good use. It think that's kind of a democracy thing.

I know people who endlessly bitch about taxes and have never attended a government meeting or talked to their representative. Bitching about taxes is on the same level as complaining about the weather. On that note, if there is a second revolution, the weather people are going to be the first ones up against the wall.

Your are much more of an ideologue than me. I can see many valid points in your agruments and I can see many valid points coming from the side opposed to your ideals and philosophies.

Personally, I don't give a rip what Ayn Rand says. I've tried to read a few of her books and find them rather confusing and boring. If I'm going to read a thick book, I'll take East of Eden or Grapes of Wrath. But I tend to stick to biography, history and non-fiction.

Until the On The Borderliners entered my world view, I'd barely heard of Rand. Cherry picking her quotes and that got them fired up in their little blog was what I was after. That's probably why you see any Rand stuff still popping up here. Now days the OTBLers are pretty boring. I see you stopping by there occasionally, but I don't see much discussion going on there.

I've always appreciated your comments here. You at least what to hold and intelligent discussion. I don't pretend to have all the answer or subscribe to any particular philosophy or idelaism that will make the world a better place.

That said, I don't see a Second Revolution in the near future. If there was a 2nd Rev, what do you think it would look like and how would it come to be?