Correction Dagney, you are discussing parasites, I'm discussing people.......
they cease being people.
That is the nub of the argument I suppose.....
I think that in modern Europe, for obvious reasons, we have a reluctance to dehumanise our fellow citizens.
I know I know, I really thought I would get back to this sometime yesterday,
but then I got to caught up in doing research last night to get back to this.
I am sorry for that.
I found all three hours and something minutes of John Gault's speech on YouTube,
and listened to it, twice.
I do know that my comment on moral relativism needs more explanation,
and I do intend to get around to posting that tonight,
I have a house to paint today, and shall give it much thought.
In the meantime,
right is right, and wrong is wrong. (This has nothing to do with laws).
After listening to that speech, I don't see any reason to change that belief,
but I may have a better explanation for it than I could have ever come up with before.
it is most certainly worth discussion.
See you tonight.
The bankers and politicians dehumanize you every single day.
Picture this: There are 3 people left on the planet: a banker, politician, and a farmer. You're the farmer. Since this is a democracy and everybody is supposedly human, a simple majority decides everything. One day the banker and politician say, "we give ourselves the right to your produce and you will pay us to rule over you". What do you say?
Whether you like it or not, this is how it ultimately plays out until everybody is starved to death.
No what you have described is exploitation - dehumanising has rather more sinister overtones to my ears.....
Good evening beeb, Dagney, Peckerwood.
Due to the nature of the business that I am in, I often have no say in my own schedule. Occasionally, good paying jobs, come along if they are done in a timely manner, meaning right now. I try to make mix them in with jobs that have the “when you get to it” connotation in front of it.
As someone who has considered himself a libertarian for most of his adult life, I may be able to offer some prospective, from personal experience.
My knowledge of Atlas Shrugged, was virtually non-existent until this past week. From what I have learned about this topic in this past week, that fact surprises me to no end!
your previous story about the banker, politician, and farmer, seems to be very similar to the joke that starts out like this...
Two wolves and a sheep were getting hungry, so they decided to vote on what to have for dinner........
to give you a brief as possible explanation of my comment the other day,
and taking into account your response,
Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong?
When I was a child, I thought that I would find right and wrong written in the Bible or spoken at church. I also had the common misconception that somehow legal, and moral were synonyms, however, I have since learned otherwise.
Now after 12 years of Catholic school, and many beat downs by the nuns,
and being told countless times of exactly how I was going to burn in hell,
combined with lengthy and pointless debates about how I was to give all obedience to an entity which by nature would always be beyond my comprehension, I have absolutely no interest in using religious doctrine as a basis to form such a thing as a moral code.
I have come to believe over time that the church is a corrupt and immoral institution.
So I am a heretic.
Interestingly enough many religions do in fact teach that right and wrong are absolutes.
Even a broken clock is on time twice a day.
Then there is the Penal Code, which has absolutely no correlation to morality whatsoever.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people think that illegal and immoral are one and the same.
I find increasingly with age, as well as with all the new laws being written daily,
that any correlation between the two has broken down completely.
And yes, I'll say it now,
more often than not, ill legal can be moral,
and moral can be illegal.
So I am an anarchist.
It's my moral code, not yours. In the end, I'm the only one that has to live with me.
As the examples that you expressed are concerned,
rape, as defined as unwanted and forceful intercourse is concerned,
is a violent crime and is always wrong. That is an absolute.
As far as your example of the marijuana dealer,
if two people are engaged in a sale, and the agreed-upon terms are met,
then no crime has been committed.
The government has absolutely no business in deciding what intoxicants should and should not be legal, and therefore, their sale in my opinion, is none of the governments business.
Free-trade, is also none of the governments business.
The governments only real purpose is to defend free and fair trade,
this also goes with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
In my lifetime, I have become dreadfully aware that the government stands directly in the path of free trade, as well as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Now if on the other hand,
if I was to sell you a bag of grass clippings, and tell you that it was marijuana,
then in fact I have committed a crime.
and whether you would like to call it theft or fraud,
does not matter, it would be with in the realm of good law to prosecute such a crime.
Of course under current circumstances, that is not possible
since it wasn't a legal transaction in the first place.
Current laws have far too many “victimless crimes” on the books. As far as I am concerned, none of them belong there. If there is no victim, there is no crime. Just to make myself perfectly clear, I do not partake in any drugs, at least not of the mind altering type, and I do not drink.
I have been stone cold sober for the past 25 years.
It's the principle that I am expressing, and when you get down to it, it's the principle that matters, not any particular law.
I'm not sure I would even know where to start with you, after reading your posts.
In the meantime, Dagney is doing a much better job than I could,
but I'm sure I can offer something of value down the road, if you stick around.
As I stated in the previous post,
I had literally no knowledge of what Ayn Rand wrote, or believed,
prior to this past week.
Aside from a few people using “I am John Gault”
or, “where is John Gault” next to their avatar on forum,
I had no idea what they were talking about.
I did however remember the name.
I've never seen or heard of Dagny Taggart untill reading the comments here on
TFMR. It took a forum entitled “who is Dagney Taggart” for me to look into it.
For those who watched the movie, entitled Atlas shrugged part one,
allow me to share in just how many ways it hit me personally.
I will say right up front,
Hank Reardon is me.
At the risk of taking up too much space,
I am going to tell you why.
As a child, I was the type of little boys who was incredibly curious as to how things worked.
I remember getting into trouble a lot for dismantling all kinds of appliances and gadgets, just to find out what was in them and why they did what they did.
I wanted to understand.
By the time I was eight or nine, I was doing this to cars.
When my father succeeded in demolishing a 1969 Mustang convertible, by wrapping it around a telephone pole back in 1970, I told him that if he would buy me a hood, bumper, a radiator, and a grill,
then I would get his car running for him again.
He bought the parts, and I fixed the car.
I was eight years old at the time.
By age 12,
I could remove an engine from a Volkswagen, completely dismantle it,
replace broken connecting rods, and smashed Pistons, reassemble the engine,
and put it back in the car,
and drive the car.
And I could do this entirely by myself, and I did.
I started buying and selling cars for the cash that I could get,
fixing them up for a profit.
By high school, I had a reputation as someone who could fix anything,
and would buy and sell cars between teachers, and classmates,
and was the go to guy for anything that needed repairs.
I still have some of the same customers today.
In the course of buying and selling my cars, I was informed by New York State,
that according to the law, there was a five car limit as to how many I could buy and sell without being in violation of the law.
I learned to put as many as I could in other people's names.
I learned eventually this is dangerous, since my own mother stole a car from me.
Apparently, she violated no law's, since it was signed over to her.
This was my first experience with an obvious separation with the difference between legal and moral.
Then I was told by New York State that it was illegal to simply drive around fixing other people's cars, since under New York State law you need to have a registered automotive repair shop. Aside from the fact that you need a commercial property to do this, at the time you needed to pay a $5000 fee for little green sign to hang on your door.
So, another business down the drain.
So I bought a limousine, and restored it from the ground up,
and started a limousine service.
This was a lot of fun, and the money was good,
however eventually a law was passed that required all limousines to be registered with the taxi and limousine commission,
and legally, the car needed to be less than 10 years old.
Mine was 11. And although they effectively put me out of business,
I continue to drive that car for another 15 years.
As a child I learned how to play the piano, and to sing.
I was a member of many different bands,
and for years, my only steady work was on Friday and Saturday nights,
playing at a local bar.
Eventually, the police started hanging out directly across the street from that bar,
and pulled over every car that left the bar.
Eventually, most of the customers lost their driver's licenses,
and the bars that I work in, closed for business.
It became virtually impossible to earn a living as a musician.
So I started an arcade,
found an old house that was commercially zoned,
work out a deal with a vendor that had a whole bunch of video games.
For a cut, he could keep his games at my house,
and lots of people would come and play and put money in them.
I got half.
Building that business from scratch, took me about a year to make it profitable.
I would work overnights as a cashier at the local 711 in order to pay my bills.
For that year, I only slept about two nights a week.
Then, for a great idea, I decided to sell prepackaged Stewart's sandwiches,
I also bought bags of potato chips and cookies.
5 min. after I added snacks to the sign out front,
I was closed down by the board of health.
I took away all of the snacks,
but then the building inspector came and found enough violations to make sure
that I couldn't possibly afford to open my doors again.
Another business, out of business.
So I bought an old van,
and advertise myself as man with a van.
I would pick up and deliver anything from packages, to pianos and refrigerators,
and eventually worked my way up to moving entire households.
I got to the point where I was doing a New York to Florida run every weekend.
I would load my van, and the trailer it towing, (which I built), on a Friday afternoon,
be in Florida by Saturday afternoon, and be back in New York by Sunday night.
Once again, I could go round the clock without sleeping.
One day the Department of Transportation answered my ad,
and wanted to see my truck.
I told them, I don't have a truck if I need one I will rent it.
Yes, they have a law against that too!
They wanted $5000 every six months for “insurance”
by now, I knew what an extortion racket was when I saw one.
So I gave it all in break for a while, and got a job restoring antique cars and trucks.
After couple of years of that, I got tired of breathing paint fumes all day every day,
and an old car repair customer of mine that did home renovations hired me to help him build a house.
After doing everything by myself, I realized that I really didn't need him.
So I started building my own houses,
and hired as many people as I needed to get the job done.
Needless to say, four years ago the bottom fell out of that market,
so I decided to become an independent home improvement contractor.
I had certain customers, that absolutely required that everything be legal,
so I went for all of the town, county, and state licenses,
and got all of the associated bonding and permits.
Seeing as I live only a few feet from the County line,
this required twice as many permits and licenses and insurance
that so I can work both sides of that line.
I had seen on many instances where they have goon squads driving around
looking for contractors who do not have the right credentials,
and when found, they are arrested, their vehicles and tools are impounded,
and sold off at auction.
Of course, this is pure theft
it is also another extortion racket to make sure that everybody pays the state
their proper fees.
After going to the right classes which were really only directed towards how to pay all the fees,
I finally got myself “legal”
the following week, I got a letter from the federal government
they wrote themselves a new law saying that now I needed to attend classes
and get a separate federal license on how to “remove lead paint"
and I was informed, that if I work on any house that was built before 1972
or was it 82?
I would be in violation of federal law.
I've had enough,
all my permits have expired,
they are just too damn expensive.
And there simply isn't enough work to go around to support that expense.
The other problem, is that I am constantly trying to underbid illegal migrant workers
who will work for below minimum wage.
Now back to Hank Reardon,
he struck me as a man who was willing to do what ever it took to get the job done.
I am that man.
It actually brought tears to my eyes when he was forced to sign over all of his businesses to people that had obviously not earned them.
Due to state mandates, all of my businesses have gone down the tubes.
And I do not think this is in any way "public protection",
like I stated before it is pure extortion.
In 40 years of doing business, I have never been sued by a customer.
When I met Hank Reardon's family,
it reminded me much of my own.
They always expect the money to be there, and don't really seem to know or care
where it came from or what I had to do to get it.
Many of the conversations in this movie I have had word for word.
Especially with my wife,
and particularly with Dagny. Yes, just change the faces and the places, and this story is the same. I love when he told her after their pursuit of the motor's inventor, how he needed to get back to work, that was particularly key for me.
When I was a high school senior, I would often see and add in popular science magazine entitled “the secrets of the 200 mile per gallon carburetor”
it was a $25 manual, promising to teach anyone how to get phenomenal gas mileage out of their car. Although it touched on many different technologies, and patents, it mainly focused on an invention by a man named Charles Pouge of Winnipeg Canada
the Pouge carburetor was Pat. Originally in 1937
The principle is that it turns a liquid gasoline into a dry they per by heating it using the exhaust gases in the heat exchange.
Feeding the vapor into the engine instead of liquid gas is supposed to increase its efficiency by 10 times.
I built such a carburetor, in fact I have build three in total.
The first two, in the 1980s work well,
and one in particular I was able to use on my car for over a year, and was able to consistently get 75 miles to the gallon.
many people knew of what I was doing at that time, and I made no attempt to keep my accomplishments a secret.
After driving it home from a long voyage, I parked it in my driveway and went in my house to change my clothes.
I was going to go out dancing.
When I returned to the car, it was fully engulfed in flames.
Although I will never know exactly how that fire started,
the carburetor was undamaged even after the fire.
I have some serious suspicions as to the cause....................
Then, in the 1990s I've build another one for my van, thinking I could save a fortune on fuel.
But something has changed, the process of recirculating the gasoline through the vaporizer would cause
the gasoline to turn black and gloppy .
it would not work for more than 100 miles or so, until the entire system would clog up.
Somewhere in between, apparently, the gasoline companies perfected an additive that would not vaporize,
although obviously it does burn.
I strongly suspect the sole purpose of this additive is to incapacitate this particular technology.
Recently, I started studying the patents of Nikolai Tesla, and some of the stories associated with him.
On a website called PESwiki, you can learn a lot about him yourself.
I started building a motor that when completed is supposed to run off atmospheric electricity.
Although it is rather involved in its construction,
and if anyone is curious enough I will explain it more thoroughly,
but the principle is sound, and I have a working prototype,
but I am currently trying to increase its efficiency and or output to make it into something that is actually practical for use, as opposed to being just a scientific curiosity.
When Hank Reardon and Dagny Taggart found this motor in the movie,
and explained exactly how it was supposed to work,
I felt like I was the only one watching that could understand what they were saying.
Although they slightly overcomplicated the explanation,
the principle of harnessing atmospheric electricity is solid science.
I am still trying to figure out just how much can be harnessed for home use.
As the story goes, J.P. Morgan himself was financing test was experiments.
When Tesla developed a way to harness free atmospheric energy,
J.P. Morgan withdrew his financing,
and stated that it he could not put a meter on it, he most certainly wasn't going to help develop it.
Right now, I am a little strapped for cash, as between trying to pay the bills, stack the silver and gold coins,
stock up on food provisions, stock up on ammunition,
I haven't been able to put the time, or the money required into finishing this particular project.
Even Hank Reardon had to get back to running his company and earning a living.
I guess I can only wish that I was John Gault.
I am however completely convinced that there are many technologies that have been suppressed by the powers that be.
As I posted much earlier today,
last night I found a copy of John Gault's speech from the audio book from Atlas Shrugged. It is three hours and 18 min. long.
I listened very carefully, twice.
As a result, the sun was already coming up by the time I was done with the second lap.
It was as if somebody was articulating my beliefs in a way that I could not have quite come up with myself.
Upon further investigation, I learned that it took Ayn Rand two years just to write that speech.
It was an excellent explanation as to how the world has gotten into the condition that it is.
Good and evil, moral and immoral, have literally been turned upside down by religion, and by our political system.
He explains in great detail as to why a human being is an individual and needs to live as an individual.
This is moral, and correct.
Both the church, and the politicians, teach a philosophy called collectivism
which contradicts the way of a human being is designed to operate.
Through careful examination over the years,
I came to many of these conclusions on my own.
I know that you stated in a previous post your opposition to these principles.
I also know that the vast majority of humanity will agree with your point of view.
Freemen pursuing their own needs, are infinitely more productive than a collective.
This has been proven over and over again in history.
However, the collective seems to rule at the moment.
We will be quite lucky if they do not destroy humanity.
Now you know what it is that runs through my mind while I am hanging off a ladder painting a house all day while being baked in the midday sun.
Many of the businesses that I have run in the past, worked well with some employees.
As a matter of fact, when I was the man with the van, I had in my employ five other men with vans,
and we all kept ourselves busy.
Other businesses such as auto repair, or home improvement, have not worked out well with employees, since I often found that I had to pay somebody to do the job completely wrong, and then undo it, and redo it myself for nothing.
But like I said, I always got the job done as I promised.
As John Gault said at the end of his three-hour speech,
(I am paraphrasing) people like us should do as little as possible, to simply live comfortably, and not to enrich the state.
The cost of employing anyone now is obscene, and that is unfortunate,
but it is the world we live in now.
So it seems like I have drawn a lot of the same conclusions,
and although I support a lot of the reasoning that was conveyed in John Gaults speech, I have done so for different reasons.
The only thing I wish I could accomplish now,
is to make the feelings of defeat subside.
I too often feel that this state, (evil) is winning.
And I do not seem to share John Gault confidence in the future.
Because I do not type,
I do not write very much.
I do however read a lot,
and speaking of that,
I've got some catching up to do.
See you later............................................
Just a little bit more, about the ways that I do not quite fit in today.
Do you remember as a part of that story, how I fixed my father's 69 Mustang convertible when I was eight years old?
That car is now 43 years old, and I still drive it every day.
Even more bizarre, it's my work car.
I've been using it as a truck for the past 35 years.
It's mostly Bondo and bed frames now,
but I was determined even as a child to keep it running forever.
My family thinks it's far too whipped to be still driving it,
but they don't have to. It now has half a million miles on it.
The family car, is my favorite, I have also been using it for an avatar for the past three years.
It's a 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible,
and it is in showroom condition.
In my humble opinion, is the finest car ever built.
But that's because I simply like to have the biggest, most luxurious, and most powerful car I can get, and, the top absolutely must go down.
At least I have no car payments.
It is always funny, when people come up to me at the gas pump, where the store, or at work, and tell me that I used to have a mustang just like that in high school,
I can say, so did I, and I still do.
It upsets me greatly how our society has become completely disposable.
Nothing is built to last anymore,
and it does not seem like anyone knows how to fix anything anymore.
Even before I got to high school, I knew exactly how to earn a living, despite the fact that I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Children leave school nowadays, with absolutely no usable skills whatsoever,
except of course those that do go to college.
And even then he cannot find a job.
My daughter and I often go to car shows, with the Cadillac, just to get some trophies.
It is somewhat alarming how old everybody there is.
When these old folks, with their old cars, finally leave the stage,
there will be absolutely no one to replace them.
Will anyone know how to fix anything when I'm gone?
Article on Alisa Rosenbaum (aka Ayn Rand)
Love Is An Objectivism Battlefield
"1968 was the year of doom for the Objectivist cult's first wave. Rand had been having an on-again, off-again affair for over a decade with her prime minister and heir, the handsome wacko Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal), 25 years her junior.
Both of them were married when the affair began—he, 24; she, 49—but they rounded up the spouses and talked all four together about how Branden and Rand were going to be lovers, because, yeah, that always works out so well.
Fourteen years into the affair and Branden, now 38, was done with the whole thing. But every time he tried to break up with Rand, she would fly into torrents of rage and yell at him that he had "no right to sex with some inferior woman!" "The man to whom I dedicated Atlas Shrugged would never want anything less than me!" she shrieked. This went on for ages.
Meanwhile, Rand's husband, Frank O'Connor, was off drinking himself into a stupor, and Branden's wife Barbara was slowly losing what was left of her marbles.
Finally, unable to put up with any more scenes, Branden informed Rand by letter that their age difference "now made sex with her impossible" for him. She was devastated. But there was worse to come, because Branden had decided not to mention a secret affair he was having with one of his students, a beautiful young model named Patrecia Gullison. Because even though Branden was an Objectivist expressing his Highest Moral Purpose by Achieving his Own Happiness and all, he was also terrified of what would happen when Rand found out about it."
It will probably take me quite a while,
to get to the end of Atlas Shrugged.
That's okay, it seems to be a worthy goal.
However, I have noticed that the audio book is posted on YouTube in 94 different segments. (63 hr. total)
I personally would appreciate it if somebody would tell me how it ends.
I suspect that it does not end well,
but that is just a wild guess,
and besides that, Dagney already told me such.
If anybody who knows the answer to “how does it end?”
please send me your version of it,
you can drop me a PM,
just in case there are other readers who thinks they need to read the entire book (1200 pages) to find out how it ends.
Thanks in advance,
I had been posting on MarketWatch for the past three years,
but they have an agenda, and I am not part of it.
About 2500 posts and 350 friends vanished with a mouse click.
Time to start over,
I will be around.
I am also staying out of the markets, I was playing with the silver futures,
and had a heavily leveraged account untill the spring 2011.
That May 1st massacre, hit me real hard.
I also took one hell of a beating when the last house that I built could not be sold for what it cost me to build it.
(the buyer went bankrupt in the selloff)
But you can't keep a good man down (at least not for long).
Appreciate the comments and the candour .....
Will post later..
Quick response as I’m running a number of positions…
Mr Fix – thanks for sharing your story and your thoughts – I can understand where you are coming from..
The first point to make is that nobody likes government interference in their lives...
Secondly, (please don't be offended as this is partly tongue in cheek) from a European perspective it could be thought that N. America’s appreciation and acceptance of Rand is tied up with the “cowboy myth” of rugged individualism and independence.
However she took things to extremes and, despite Dagger’s saying that it was not all black or white, I haven’t yet seen anything to show that it was not. As Rand states in the article linked by Grigeo above: “Since man's mind is his basic means of survival [...] he has to hold reason as an absolute, by which I mean that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action, and that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind; that his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness [...] that each man must live as an end in himself, and follow his own rational self-interest”.
I ask again, where is the empathy and humanity that for me is much of what life is about…
By inference, what Rand thought about the individual must be raised to the level of society – viz the two questions I posed to Daggers above – following Rand you would have to entirely deregulate Wall St and do away with child labour laws.
Taking Rand’s ideas to their logical conclusions leaves you with situations that are ludicrous and a million miles away from reality and the human experience. Here's a fanciful one, but illustrative of how far away from the human reality her thinking is:
Imagine one of her heroes walking along a cliff top with his child. Suppose the child slips and falls part of the way down the cliff and that the only way to save the child’s life is for the father to risk his own life. By Rand's reasoning and by following his own “rational self-interest” the father would choose not to risk his life to save his sprog. As any of us with kids know, that is a patently absurd proposition…..
Rand stated that when you love someone, as for example a father loves a child, that risk is done because you would rather lose your life than go on without that love, that you are making the rational choice. This is illustrated in both Atlas as well as The Fountainhead.
The European "social welfare net" is theft, pure and simple, since that money is stolen, by force, from the productive, and given to the unproductive. Examples of abuse and permanent dependency abound. It is not charity, it is not compassion, it is evil. It is also unsustainable and collapsing Europe as we speak, and the same thing is in the process of happening here.
The other nonsense posted here is pure character assassination by collectivists who view her (rightly so) as a threat - she did not "idolize" the serial killer. Her personal life, yes, had some significant foibles. They don't distract from the fact that her ideas were so valuable. The economy was not wrecked by her philosophy - she believed, like Greenspan used to, in a gold standard.
As to outsourcing, the key to that issue is to understand that without the proper balance of payments - i.e. using gold in some fashion (such as freegold), there is an artificial cheapness created by dollar hegemony. This is what causes this to be so damaging (i.e. China making everything) - had we been unable to do this, finance 4 decades of negative balance of payments - it would have naturally balanced.
Same with Wall Street - why does Corzine get away with it? Why was Taggart run by Jim Taggart so wrong? He used politics to win - i.e. force. Fraud, and force, go hand and hand, and all should be prosecuted with extreme vigor. Were that done, instead of a bunch of unenforced, or selectively enforced, political regulations - we could have stopped that. Again, blaming free market on the results of government intervention.