Tuesday, August 14, 2018

‘Dark Money’ is Free Speech. Protect It

The New Jersey Star-Ledger is at it again, railing against “dark money” in politics. In It's not just Putin. Trump protects all dark money meddlers, the Star-Ledger mixes apples and oranges--that is, legitimate law enforcement with innocent private individuals and groups, taking its obligatory swipe at the pro-freedom Koch brothers. As one reads the editorial, you can see the gradual turn from clearly illegal activities like Putin’s election meddling to going after innocent American citizens. “Trump is likely doing this because conservative heavy hitters like the Koch brothers fought for it,” the Star-Ledger rants. “They want to keep their dark money donors secret.” It doesn't mention that the Koch brothers are regularly harassed with death threats--a good reason for donors to want to remain free from "public disclosure."

I left these comments:

“Dark Money” is the language of dictators who want to silence the free speech of private citizens. Another word for “dark” is anonymous. Given the inextricable link between spending and speech, anonymous spending equals anonymous expression. Anonymous expression is a right that should be protected. Political anonymity has been used throughout history by free speakers to avoid harassment and intimidation by both governments, political opponents, and private thugs. It was used by Revolutionary advocates of freedom and independence to shield them from British reprisals. It was used by 20th Century black Civil Rights advocates to shield them from white racist lynch mobs.

Aside from protection, some people might want to head off ad hominem attacks so their ideas can be debated on the merits.

In cases of actually illegal activity, such as foreign government interference in American elections, that should be treated like any other crime. Investigators seeking disclosure from private political action groups should need a subpoena based on evidence and probable cause. Otherwise, no forced disclosure of political donors.

Monetary expenditure is intricate to free speech. Rights to anonymity is crucial to spending on free expression. Free expression is crucial to intellectual freedom of the individual as well as public debate during election seasons or regarding law and policies. After all, what is the “democratic process” but free and open debate for the purpose of persuading and influencing? Those who throw around terms like “dark money” are up to no good.They are attacking freedom of speech. Unless a crime is committed, keeping one’s political donations large or small private from both public and government is a fundamental right that should be protected by government.

Related Reading:

The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech--by Kimberley Strassel, especially Chapter 2, “Publius & Co.”

The Anti-Free Speech Fallacy of ‘Dark Money’

Making Private Donations Anonymously is a Right

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Don’t Force Anybody to Finance NJ's 'Fight on Climate.' Just End It

In How N.J. forces the poor to finance the fight on climate, Tom Moran writes for the New Jersey Star-Ledger:

In Newark's South Ward, friends and family gathered at their church Wednesday morning to say good-bye to Linda Daniels, a 68-year-old matriarch who died gasping for breath on a hot afternoon, a few hours after PSE&G cut off her electricity, causing her oxygen machine to sputter to a halt.

That was no act of God. Electricity rates in New Jersey are among the highest in the country, and one reason is that we lard electric bills with added charges, mostly because raising taxes is a steeper climb, politically, than raising fees.

New Jersey is spending more than $1 billion a year to fight climate change, all financed through regressive electricity bills. Before long, the number could easily reach $2 billion.

So, after this awful death of this good woman, it's time to take a second look at that. Fighting climate change is imperative. But putting such a heavy cost on the shoulders of people like Linda Daniels is just wrong.

But, observes Moran in a fit of honesty, “this is no right-wing conspiracy against the poor. In New Jersey, at least, it's coming from the left.” Moran concludes:

But no one is talking yet about the need for a fundamental change in how we finance the fight against climate change. Perhaps if Daniels' death sparks that conversation, it will offer some small solace for this tragedy.

I left these comments:

“But no one is talking yet about the need for a fundamental change in how we finance the fight against climate change.”

This is a sneaky attempt to frame the debate. I’m not biting. But I am talking.

The problem is not “how we finance the fight against climate change.” The problem is the fight, which is really a fight against reliable, affordable energy. No one should be forced to pay that political bill. Eliminate that $1 - 2 billion in state expenditures—along with the “renewable energy” subsidies, Clean Energy Fund, and associated taxes and electric bill fees—and get the state out of the fight against climate change. Then let each household and business decide for themselves whether they want to “fight climate change.” If someone wants to, they can foot the full bill for their solar panels or windmills or whatever themselves: They will not be stopped. But neither will anyone be forced to pay.


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It’s encouraging to see the price of renewable energy--unaffordable electric bills--come to the fore. Sadly, it took a tragedy to accomplish that. And it was entirely unnecessary. The cost of “fighting climate change” has been shown in practice. As Alex Epstein observed in testimony before Congress, Germany has gone down the road to a “green energy revolution” and its consumers have paid dearly, to the tune of electric bills 3-4 times higher than Americans pay. And despite all of that economic pain, Germany has had to turn back to coal to keep the electrons flowing.

Related Reading:

The Obama-Clinton One-Two Blackout--Alex Epstein

"Clean" Energy Subsidies vs. Oil Industry "Subsidies"

End All Corporate

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Essential Anti-Human Soul of Environmentalism

An aging, obsolete hydroelectric dam in Warren County, New Jersey, is scheduled to be demolished, Steve Novak reports for lehighvalleylive.com. Normally, this wouldn’t be news. But here in NJ, Environmentalists are celebrating the destruction of the dam--not because it will be replaced with some superior electric generating station, but because the stream and surrounding area will be returned to its “natural” state.

None other than NJ’s Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe was there, saying

"I want to thank Mother Nature ... for the 109-year loan" of the Paulins Kill for hydroelectric power, DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe said. "And now, Mother Nature," she continued, holding a prop sledge hammer aloft, "you can have it back."

I left this comment:

Notice what’s missing from “Mother Nature”--man, and his survival needs. We are just “borrowers”; she’s being polite. She means hijackers.

To an Environmentalist, nature is a supreme benevolent consciousness that encompasses everything but man, who is a destructive, unnatural intruder. Why isn’t that dam considered “natural?” Because man built it to serve his survival and flourishing. If a beaver builds a dam, it is “natural.” But not man.

Nature is not a consciousness-- a “Mother.” That is superstition. Nature is impersonal existence, along with everything in it, including man. But nature doesn’t provide for man’s needs, as it does other species. Nature gives man a dangerous environment, albeit one filled with raw materials. Unaltered nature is wholesale death for man. But unlike other species, nature gives man a reasoning mind. To live and thrive, man must use his intelligence to transform raw nature to suit his needs, such as build dams.

I have no problem with dismantling an obsolete industrial project. I do have a problem with Environmentalism because its ideal environment does not include man--intelligent, creative, flourishing, nature-improving man. Environmentalism recognizes every species’ right to its means of survival as “natural.” But not man’s means, which is reason and productive work and harnessing nature. Man only “borrows”--at best. The statement by McCabe exposes the underlying anti-humanist soul of the Environmentalist Movement--the primitive-like valuing of “Mother Nature” over human life.


Related Reading:

Human Energy Needs vs. 'Mother Earth'

How Earth Day Anti-Industrialists Hijack ‘Science’ to Deny Humans the Benefits of Science

“Not-so-Sane” Environmentalists are Perfectly Sane--and Anti-Humanist

Trump Could Give Us a Welcome Respite from Environmentalist Political Domination

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Banning of Alex Jones: Facebook Choice or Regulatory Extortion?

Facebook banned Alex Jones from its platform for posting “hate speech” and “bullying.” The Associated Press reports:

Major tech companies have begun to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media.

Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his “Infowars” show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones. Twitter, which hasn’t banned Jones, has also faced similar calls.


The question is, are these companies truly doing this on their own, as a matter of principle, business policy, or market pressure? Or are they being coerced by political threats of regulation?

If the first, then it is their right, even if dumb. And it is dumb, if done on principle. You can’t defeat ideas you consider bad except by exposure by letting those holding those views express themselves. They can only be defeated by intellectually discrediting, and then by countering with a better viewpoint. What better place to expose and open to refutation bad ideas than on social media? They, after all, the media, not Starbucks. Prohibition does not work. It didn’t work with alcohol. It doesn’t work with the “War on Drugs.” And it won’t and never has worked with ideas. Truth-seeking is about exposing and debating, not burying and retreating into an “echo chamber.” This view gets support from a surprising source, Former President Barack Obama. Obama said it is wrong to silence “people who are different than us.” We should instead listen to them “because we should try to understand their point of view. Maybe we can change their minds, maybe they'll change ours. You can't do this if you just out of hand disregard what your opponent has to say from the start.”

The effect of the ban is actually to have the opposite effect: to elevate what is said in importance. Bans only make martyrs of the silenced, drawing more attention to them and widening their reach. It’s interesting that until I read about Facebook’s ban of Alex Jones, I had never heard of Alex Jones. Now, I’m investigating his views to see what the hoopla is all about, so I can judge for myself. News of Facebook’s ban is actually helping to expose more people to Jone’s ideas, even as it makes them less exposed. Censorship doesn’t do anything but drive ideas underground, where they continue to spread but with much less public scrutiny. And by cutting Jones out of Facebook, Facebook is denying intelligent opponents the chance to use their own free speech to challenge and refute the ideas--all for the sake of people who lack the courage or ability to fight back on the “battleground” of ideas.

If the second, it gets much worse: We’re dealing with outright government censorship. The First Amendment protects the likes of private entities like Facebook to ban points of view it doesn't approve of. The First Amendment doesn’t give us the “right” to broadcast at others’ expense. It does protect us from forcible government censorship or jailing for speaking our minds. But what if politics intersects with the private sector? Politicians have been threatening these companies, saying “Either you control your content, or we will.” Jesse Walker for Reason looks back at the McCarthy era of Communist blacklisting by targeting Hollywood, and draws parallels to today:

In the Trump era, the target of choice for people worried about foreign subversion—and other disfavored speech, from "fake news" to sex ads—is social media. "You created these platforms, and now they're being misused," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) told representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter during last year's hearings on Russian activities during the 2016 election. "And you have to be the ones who do something about it—or we will."

As tech companies create ever-more-intrusive rules about what can and can't be said using their products, threats like Feinstein's clearly play a substantial role in their decision making. [My emphasis]

Whether through direct regulation, or the back door of threats of regulation, we’re dealing with another assault on free speech and press, in direct violation of the inalienable individual right to intellectual freedom and expression and conscientious objection as explicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Facebook and the other companies appear to be caving in to political pressure. If so, they are aiding and abetting the advance of dictatorship in America. Aspiring dictators need to suppress dissent and control the intellectual narrative. They have found a powerful weapon in the internet and social media companies. First, they tried to control the internet through “net neutrality” regulatory control of internet service providers (stymied by Trump, for now). The logical next step is to control the internet content providers. The statists, mostly on the Left, must be exposed. It is these statists, not the Alex Jones of the world, who are the real threat. They must be stopped. As Walker implores:

Anyone who cares about free expression should object to censorship by proxy, both as it manifested itself in the early days of the Cold War and as it threatens to re-emerge in social media today.

Related Reading:

The Life and Death of a Hollywood Blacklist: Sometimes censorship is a public-private partnership, by Jesse Walker for Reason.








Monday, August 6, 2018

To 'Stop Gun Violence,' Stop Free Speech, Leftist Says

Left statists are ever looking for rationalizations to assault free speech rights. The latest salvo comes from Alan L. Moss, “former wage-hour chief economist and congressional fellow to the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey,” a “liberal” Democrat. In a New Jersey Star-Ledger guest column, Moss asserts that in order To stop gun violence, we must revamp 2nd Amendment, remove big money from federal elections: i.e., go after the First Amendment:

Attempts to limit campaign contributions that give the gun lobby (and others) the ammunition to win political support also have been decimated by the Supreme Court (Buckley v. Valeo, 1976). In that and later decisions, it found that campaign-expenditure limits contravene the First Amendment provision on freedom of speech; corporations were given the go-ahead to spend from their general treasuries to influence ballot initiatives; and aggregate limits on political giving by an individual to candidates, political action committees and party committees combined were found to be unconstitutional. These decisions have opened the floodgates to bribery through campaign donation. [My Emphasis.]

To counter this freedom, Moss calls for a constitutional amendment, jumping on the Article 5 bandwagon—”a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- called for by two-thirds (currently 34) of the state legislatures” * :

[A]a new amendment must be fashioned to relieve federal political candidates of the burden to raise campaign funds. Formulas should be developed to estimate reasonable funding requirements for those who represent a minimum of voter potential either through party acceptance or other proof of popular support. Under this system, the federal allocation of campaign funds would be the only financial resources devoted to election expenditures. [My Emphasis.]

Moss would go way beyond placing limits on campaign funding, which we already have. He would outright ban them. More ominously, we see that Moss is not just talking about direct contributions to political candidates. He proposes to ban campaign spending “to influence ballot initiatives.” Though he refers specifically to corporate spending, where does one draw the line? Indeed, Moss doesn’t. He seeks to ban all private election spending, including for issue advocacy: “the federal allocation of campaign funds would be the only financial resources devoted to election expenditures.” That sweeping statement is crystal clear: Only government can engage in election spending. We the People are cut out of the loop.

I left these comments:

The right to political advocacy at one’s own expense, either individually or in association with others--to express oneself; to persuade and influence; to support political candidates of one’s choice--is fundamental to freedom. Likewise candidates’ freedom to seek funding, privately and voluntarily, from willing donors.

Moss would throw all this freedom out. He says private campaign funding is “bribery through campaign donation.” But in fact forcing private citizens to fund political candidates and ideas through their taxes whether they agree or not is criminal. It puts government officials in charge of deciding who gets to run for office and who doesn’t. Note Moss’s moral inversion: Private voluntary political advocacy is “corruption”: Government control of the electoral process is “the will of the people.”

Moss’s motive, echoing the Left, is to silence dissent, as all aspiring to dictatorship must. Advocating the “wrong” ideas; successfully persuading voters of the “wrong” ideas; who then vote for the “wrong” candidates; who then vote for the “wrong” policies and laws: Subversive ideas cannot be permitted. So criminalize basic freedom of speech.

Don’t be suckered by the “big money” ploy. Those with the resources to reach a mass audience express not only themselves; they give voice to the millions who agree but lack the resources. Ban “big money”, and you silence millions of average voters. Of course, that’s the point--too many average people vote the “wrong” way.

Private financing of political expression and campaigns is the governed's best way of keeping the political class accountable. Exploiting “gun violence,” Moss would strip the people of those basic individual rights by outlawing free speech in federal elections, an ominous portent for America.


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Moss goes well beyond even the proposed First Amendment-eroding Democracy for All Amendment. That would constitutionally empower “Congress and the States [to] regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” 

That’s bad enough (see links below). Moss would outright ban private initiatives “to influence elections.” Moss would leave no discretion to elected legislatures, and thus future voters. What will be left of the electoral process--of free elections? What will be left of our Constitutionally Limited Republic? The Left gets more brazen in its drive to end free speech every year. They must be stopped.

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* [Calls for an Article 5 convention of the states are coming from both the “Progressive” Left and Conservative Right **. See, for example, Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments. As Moss’s article demonstrates, this could be a dangerous road for liberty lovers.]

** [As opposed to the Liberal Right. See Craig Biddle, Principles of the Liberal Right.]

Related Reading:

Democracy for All Amendment: The Battle for Free Speech Reaches the Constitutional Pinnacle

Democracy for All: The "Drown Out the Voice of Average Americans" Amendment

Democracy for All Amendment: Proponents Don't Even Believe Their Own "Drown Out" Hype

Anti-First Amendment Democracy for All Amendment Introduced in Senate

Hillary's Pledge to Overturn the First Amendment—and Why it Should Be Defeated

Obama Urges Amendment to Overturn the First Amendment

Saturday, August 4, 2018

'Social Justice' Collectivism in American School and Culture

A For the New Intellectuals post by Anoop Verma:

“You’ll sit enthroned and enshrined, you, the little people, the absolute ruler to make all past rulers squirm with envy, the absolute, the unlimited, God and Prophet and King combined. Vox populi. The average, the common, the general. Do you know the proper antonym for Ego? Bromide, Peter. The rule of the bromide. But even the trite has to be originated by someone at some time. We’ll do the originating. Vox dei. We’ll enjoy unlimited submission—from men who’ve learned nothing except to submit. We’ll call it ‘to serve.’ We’ll give out medals for service. You’ll fall over one another in a scramble to see who can submit better and more. There will be no other distinction to seek.”

~ Ellsworth Toohey, whose life is devoted to creating a collectivist society, addressing one of his victims, Peter Keating (from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead)

A recent family encounter immediately came to mind. I left these comments:

During a recent family picnic, I sat (suffered) through a recording of my brother-in-law’s commencement address to the 2018 graduating class of the Rhode Island high school he principals. His speech lauded the students who “studied” “social justice,” “sustainability,” and “renewable energy.” On individual “achievement,” he reserved his highest praise for a student who logged 3000 hours—that equates to 1-1/2 years of full time work @ 40 hours a week—in “community service.” (That’s no misprint. 3000 hours in 4 years.) That was the only part of the speech that was interrupted by cheers from the audience! The speech was generally classic Left collectivism. My brother-in-law was quite proud of it.

Ellsworth Toohey is alive and well.

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I often hear about indoctrination in America's schools. I get anecdotal evidence from time to time; in an article, a conversation with a friend or teacher, something one of my grandchildren say. But my brother-in-law’s speech is “straight from the horse’s mouth” evidence of systematic collectivist/Leftist indoctrination. I want to focus on so-called “social justice.”

“Social justice” is collectivism and is particularly insidious and evil. “Social justice” holds that only groups based on some common characteristic—race, gender, sezual orientation, national origing, the catogories keep expanding—count, with each member judged according to average group statistical outcomes current or historical, and then assigned victim or oppressor status according to his group regardless of his individual choices, character, or circumstances. The goal is to equalize outcomes through economic redistribution and regulation, taking from “oppressor” groups and giving to “victim” groups. It’s always about the group, not the guilt, innocence, actions, or actual injustice or victimization of individual people.

Real justice applies only to the human entity that actually exists--the individual. But the individual doesn’t matter to “social justice.” He is an inconsequential cog in a group machine. It doesn’t matter whether the success you achieved was earned or not, whether you were lazy or ambitious. It doesn’t matter whether you are racist or not, or whether you were ever a victim of racism or not. In the case of actual oppression, such as against blacks in earlier America, it’s not enough to correct the injustices (such as repeal of Jim Crow Laws). You are what your group is deemed, victim or oppressor, in perpetuity, until the “injustice”—including past injustices that you had nothing to do with—has been “corrected” (reversed, actually) or until average equal outcomes are realized—the equality imposed by government policy; i.e., by force. It’s the collectivist mindset that leads straight to massive injustice, including genocide.

I’ll give you another personal example of the “social justice” mindset, this time relating to a specific event.

My wife was explaining to a leftist friend about how unfair it is that our daughter must pay school taxes even though she homeschools her four children. Our friend’s retort? “She’s lucky she can do it. But I believe we have a moral responsibility to those less fortunate.” Does it matter that our daughter is a victim of injustice perpetrated against her by her own government? Doesn’t that qualify as “less fortunate?” No. Because she’s “lucky”--that is, capable and willing to make the extraordinary effort to take on the responsibility of educating her own kids. Who are these “less fortunate” others? Who knows. Who cares whether their “less fortunate” status is due to bad circumstances beyond their control, their choice to send their kids to public school, or lazyness, or incompetence, or just lack of interest in their kids’ education.

Who cares even who they are? To the collectivist, it’s all about some abstract grouping, not real people with real circumstances. Our daughter is a real victim of a real injustice, yet “thrown under the bus” for an abstraction, “those less fortunate.” Collectivism is a moral escape hatch--an end run around an actual moral judgement. It’s merely an individual. How does a mere individual compare to the “greater good” of taking care of the “less fortunate?”

“The rule of the bromide.”

“Social justice” is anti-justice. Social justice in fact makes real justice impossible, because it shifts the focus away from real, actual, living, breathing, thinking human beings. It’s a repudiation of the dignity and autonomy of the individual. “Social justice,” like all forms of collectivism, is a moral escape hatch--an escape from having to treat people fairly. The ultimate goal of the Social Justice movement is, of course, socialism—the social system of greed, powerlust, envy, and hatred of and desire to destroy success and achievement. This is really what the school indoctrination is all about--to condition the young to reject individualism and accept the basic premise of collectivism, thus paving the road, a back road, to a socialist America.

Related Reading:

Collectivism Generates Irrational Hatred

The idea of ‘Protected Classes’ Does not Advance Individual Liberty

Collectivized 'Rights' versus Individual Rights—Ayn Rand

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice—Craig Biddle

Related Viewing:

How Social Justice Warriors Rationalise Their Hatred For Life & Humanity—Yaron Brook







Prager U. VIDEO: What is Intersectionality?—Ben Shapiro

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Some Relief, and Fairness, to For-Profit Colleges, Thanks to DeVos

The Obama Administration, true to its statist, Leftist agenda, spend years waging an assault on private sector colleges and universities. The Trump Education Department, under the leadership of Betsy DeVos, is taking a different approach, giving some relief to these schools.

In If Betsy DeVos and her unscrupulous profiteers won't do their jobs, N.J. will, the New Jersey Star-Ledger attacked Betsy DeVos for rolling back the Obama-era assault on private, especially for-profit colleges. The Star-Ledger wrote:

For-profits aren't the ones lending students money, so don't care if they can't pay back it back. They encourage people in dire straits to take out as much financial aid as possible. Then they suck up this federal loan money like sponges, leaving veterans, single parents and others who live paycheck-to-paycheck with huge debts and no degrees.

I left these comments:

All colleges “suck up” federal loan money. Why single out for-profits? The problem of the disconnect between too-high student loan debt relative to career earning potential cuts across all higher education—including public colleges, which have ridden the government’s student loan gravy train to tuition increases four times the rate of inflation over the last several decades. Anyway, education producers, private or public, should be no more responsible for students who overpay than other businesses are for someone overpaying for cars, vacations, or anything else. Don’t the consumers of education have any responsibility for controlling their spending?

For-profit colleges sell education, like all colleges. They cater mostly to mature working poor and middle class students who are trying to improve their skills through education while juggling jobs, families, and other adult responsibilities. These schools largely succeed despite unfair competition from public colleges, which have the benefit of taxpayer subsidies that enable them to keep tuitions artificially low. True, there are some unscrupulous actors, as in every field. But the Left, due to its irrational hatred of profit-seeking and private enterprise, is waging a war against private colleges, hoping eventually to eliminate them and gain increasing government control over higher education. Kudos to DeVos for rolling back the Left’s discriminatory assault on private colleges.

The government should not be involved in lending money to students at all. But so long as it is, and so long as it regulates these loans, it is morally obligated—and should be legally obligated—to treat all students and all educational institutions equally under the law.


Related Reading:

The Government’s Assault on Private-Sector Colleges and Universities

The Government’s Renewed Assault on Private-Sector Colleges.

Stamato's For-Profit College Hatchet Job

Obama’s “Free” Community College Scheme

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Choice is Clear: 'Unconstrained' Capitalism or Unconstrained Socialist Government

If the Trump Republican Party can be said to have a silver lining, it is this: It brought the fundamental issue confronting our nation to the fore of American debate.

In Healthcare as a human right is a bell GOP lawmakers cannot unring, freelancer Christopher Dale concluded his New Jersey Star-Ledger guest column with this.

In America, the preposterous idea that our well-being should be tied to unconstrained capitalism - that healthcare is a product rather than a right - is dead.

I left these comments, slightly edited:

If so, then so is the Declaration of Independence and any chance of a free and moral society.

Rights are moral principles sanctioning every individual’s freedom of self-advancing action, not an automatic claim on material benefits that others must be forced to provide. Healthcare does not just happen in nature. It must be produced by the individual efforts of human beings, and that fact of nature cannot be arbitrarily wished away. For a government to guarantee a right to healthcare beyond what one can acquire through voluntary dealings with others, the government must force others to pay for and/or provide it. To do that, the government must have the power to commandeer the efforts and property of productive citizens: i.e., the government must enslave those citizens.

“Unconstrained capitalism” is an interesting package deal, since capitalism is the only social system that banishes aggressive force from human society by constraining the government to the task of protecting every individual's inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, which necessarily includes the right to the product of one’s own, not others’, work. Once we accept the notion of a right to healthcare or any other material benefit that others must be forced to provide, we have abandoned the basic principle of capitalism—a society in which each person is free only to deal with others by voluntary, mutual consent. Then we’re left with the basic principle of socialism, the society of masters and slaves, in which material need makes one a master and the ability to satisfy that need makes one a slave—“from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” with the government as the tool of the masters rather than the institution to secure equal rights.

Capitalism is the logical product of the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence—the same principles that the 19th Century abolitionist movement, led by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, based their anti-slavery activism upon. Where capitalism abolished slavery, socialism brought it back. So this is the basic choice—”Unconstrained” capitalism and constrained rights-protecting government, or socialism and unconstrained totalitarian government.

Christopher Dale claims that slavery is now a “core value” of the “American spirit.” If so, America is dead. I refuse to accept that. Healthcare is a product, not an unconstrained “right”. Never mind that the slavery Dale advocates is partial, limited only to healthcare. Slavery is slavery, whether it is partial or total, Confederate or Marxist. If the government can enslave for healthcare, it can enslave for any material benefit. Once you accept the principle of slavery, you have unleashed any predator claiming a right to whatever material benefit they claim to need, and then there’s no way to stop the slide toward total slavery without first identifying and rejecting the principle of slavery. The ultimate choice is clear: Unconstrained capitalism or unconstrained socialist government—that is, A Society of Inalienable Rights or a Society of Masters and Slaves.


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Dale’s basic point is that “Despite opposition-hyped controversy, Obamacare has started cementing the concept that sufficient healthcare is a universal right.” Sadly, he’s right—which is why we cannot expect the Trump GOP to give us anything other than ObamaCare without Obama. Dale observes that, when push comes to shove, even the most committed anti-ObamaCare activists will cave:

Self-preservation is a greater motivator than partisanship. As woeful public support for the AHCA shows, even the rabidly anti-government (and even more rabidly anti-Obama) Republican base will embrace the tenets of Obamacare when faced with what could, literally, be life or death. GOP lawmakers are scaring those inclined to vote against so-called big government programs into open revolt.

In America, the preposterous idea that our well-being should be tied to unconstrained capitalism - that healthcare is a product rather than a right - is dead. Barack Obama started digging its grave in 2010. Unwittingly, Republican legislators have taken up shovels to finish the job.

Dale is right, which is why the battle must be fought on the level of philosophical principles. That’s the only way for pro-capitalists to show that socialism has never led to anything other than economic collapse, misery, and death, and why. That’s the only way to capture the moral high ground. The Left has been getting more vocal in preaching healthcare as a human right. Great. That’s just where we radicals for capitalism need to be if we’re ever going to win the battle.

Related Reading:

HHS Secretary Nominee Tom Price Whiffs in Confrontation With Bernie Sanders Over a ‘Right’ to Healthcare

Sanders Pitches ‘Right’ to Healthcare: Cruz Checks Swing

Moral Health Care vs. "Universal Health Care"—Paul Hsieh for The Objective Standard

Textbook of Americanism—Ayn Rand

Sunday, July 29, 2018

QUORA*: ‘Is it fair to claim that capitalism does not create better lives, but simply shifts the suffering somewhere else?’

QUORA*: ‘Is it fair to claim that capitalism does not create better lives, but simply shifts the suffering somewhere else?

I posted this answer:

It’s not fair to claim either.

Every social system aside from capitalism--socialism, theocracy, feudalism, monarchy, democracy, whatever--is based on the idea that the individual is subordinate to the ruler. In other words, statism.

Capitalism, the logical result of the Enlightenment principles essentialized in the Declaration of Independence, for the first time rejects the subservient premise to declare that every individual is to be free to govern is own life according to his own judgement, in strictly voluntary association with others. Unlike all other systems, capitalism has no central planner; no social organizer; no czars, no grand force “creating better lives” or “shifting the suffering.” The consequence has been widespread flourishing based on individual effort to whatever extent capitalism is allowed. But the fundamental cause is individual rights.

The error behind a question like this is that the correspondent starts from the standard of collectivism/statism. It can’t be done. Capitalism is individualist/constitutional republicanism. If some people succeed and others don’t, look to the individuals--to their character and choices, to whatever extent anti-capitalist (anti-liberty) government policies inhibit their advancement, etc.


Related Reading;

Why Capitalism Needs a Moral Sanction

QUORA: 'Can certain forms of capitalism be made to work for the people instead of just the elite?'

Capitalism .org

What is Capitalism—Ayn Rand

The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire—Andrew Bernstein

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* [Quora is a social media website founded by two former Facebook employees. According to Wikipedia:

Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. The company was founded in June 2009, and the website was made available to the public on June 21, 2010.[3]Quora aggregates questions and answers to topics. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users' answers.[4]

You can also reply to other users’ answers.]

Friday, July 27, 2018

QUORA: 'Why aren't Native Americans taking back their country, The United States of America?'

QUORA *: Why aren't Native Americans taking back their country, The United States of America?

I posted this answer:

It’s not “their” country. A continent can’t belong to a race, and neither can a nation. That is a collectivist—racist, in this case—concept. Prior to the United States of America, early European settlers (and others) had as much right to migrate to the New World as did the ancestors of Native Americans.*

Whatever conflicts or injustices occurred through the centuries, the tribal nationalism no longer exists. The Enlightenment ideas of reason and individualism that culminated in the Founding of the United States of America ended that racial nationalism. The Founders established a nation that doesn’t belong to any race; a nation that legally upholds every individual’s rights to life, liberty, earned property, and the personal pursuit of happiness regardless of race, gender, or ancestral origin. That makes America, in its Founding principles, the truly moral and enlightened nation. A nation that doesn’t recognize the sanctity and freedom of every individual life regardless of skin color is not a legitimate society or government, and should be either reformed or swept into the “dustbin” of history. True, America didn’t live up to its principles in many ways at the start. But with the Declaration of Independence at their backs, hard-fighting reformers eventually allowed all people--blacks, women, Native Americans, gays--to win their rightful political equality under law.

After millennia in which conquest, subjugation, and plunder fueled by collectivism was ubiquitous throughout the world, it was finally declared that each individual life is sovereign and self-governed, not owned by any tribe. Why would anyone want to roll back that progress? Should some gang labeled “Native Americans” attempt to “take back their country,” it would be the modern equivalent of the barbarians that overran the Roman Empire. The premise of the question is philosophically aligned with the master-race policies of Hitler’s Germany or Imperial Japan, the modern white supremacist alt-Right, or any other racial supremacist movement in history. A red supremacist is no better than a white supremacist.

People of Native American descent have no more right to call the United States of America “their country” as any other American citizen. America is an individualist nation built by free people. I would like to think that most Native Americans recognize the moral superiority of the American system, whose foundational value of inalienable individual rights enables peaceful coexistence among people of all races but allows no single race to declare the nation “theirs.” Stop living in the dismal tribal past. Celebrate America. It’s what we all have in common.

*[NOTE: I’ll use the term “Native American” here for clarity. But I don’t like the term to define any particular group. Every one of us born in the U.S. is equally a native American, regardless of when one’s distant ancestors migrated to North America. To say otherwise is racist.]


Related Reading:

Is America Based on a "Land Grab From the Native American People?"

The Enemies of Christopher Columbus: Answers to Critical Questions About the Spread of Western Civilization—Thomas A. Bowden

Was America 'made possible by stealing Indian land and the labor of slaves?'

The Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy, American Indians, and American History

The American Dream

* [Quora is a social media website founded by two former Facebook employees. According to Wikipedia:

Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. The company was founded in June 2009, and the website was made available to the public on June 21, 2010.[3]Quora aggregates questions and answers to topics. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users' answers.[4]

You can also reply to other users’ answers.]

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2008: Who Really ‘Got Away With Murder?’

Back when Congress was formulating its partial roll-back of the financial regulatory bill nicknamed Dodd-Frank, the New Jersey Star-Ledger peddled the classic statist line (lie) about lack of regulation causing the 2008-10 economic crisis. Wrote the Star-Ledger in Wall St. bankers 'got away with murder.' Now GOP wants to reward them,

The so-called "Financial Choice Act," co-sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3rd Dist.), not only pretends Wall Street's naked swindle never occurred, it feeds a deregulation bonfire that could allow the banking industry to explode in another fireball of freedom.

“Fireball of freedom.” That’s the way the statist Left views private individuals exercising their right to act on their own judgement. Need I say more? I did, in these comments:

This is a bigoted, racist-like broad swipe against “Wall Street.” Not a word about the people who control the unfree lending market, government officials. Statist apologists will apparently never stop lying about the genesis of the 2008 financial meltdown.

The Dodd-Frank law was sold on an outright lie, a complete and deliberate misidentification of the causes of the 2008 catastrophe. The banking industry consists of a diverse universe of thousands of lenders. In a free market, the mistakes of one bank won’t affect other banks. Those that make bad loans pay the price. Those with sound lending standards reap the rewards.

How is it, then, that an entire lending sector, the gargantuan home mortgage industry, can all be oriented in the same direction—the direction of sub-prime mortgage lending? The only institution capable of infecting the entire banking and financial system with bad lending is the federal government, through it massive regulatory labyrinth. Government regulation is the common thread. And that’s exactly what happened. It started in the 1990s. The housing boom and bust, financial meltdown, and Great Recession were engineered from the Washington political establishment—a perfect storm of government intervention.

From the Fed to the FDIC, CRA, Fannie & Freddie and the implied federal mortgage guarantees, the legally protected rating agency cartel, FHA, SEC, FASB accounting regulations, and on and on, the massive federal regulatory apparatus was geared to enforce the politicians’ bipartisan affordable housing crusade. There is no way some mythical Great and Powerful Oz labeled “Wall Street” could have done this. Bad lending by Wall Street “swindlers,” which in fact were very few in number, would have quickly evaporated but for the Clinton/Bush mandates for Fannie and Freddie to buy up the bad mortgages and the regulatory pressure to lower lending standards, all built upon the Fed-engineered mother-of-all housing price bubbles. Whatever financial firms acted badly—and many did, such as Angelo Mozilo’s Countrywide and IndyMac Bank—private sector culpability was a derivative effect, not a primary cause. It was not any “fireball of freedom” that unleashed the sub-prime disease. What freedom existed in finance? The culprits were the little men behind the curtain—the tools of the political class’s affordable housing swindlers, the wizards holding the levers of control over the financial industry.

The primary causes of the meltdown were government initiated, and have been well documented in books published by experts such as Thomas Sowell, John A. Allison, and Peter J. Wallison. Many articles have been written outlining the true nature and causes of the economic destruction, including “Free Markets Didn’t Create the Great Recession” by Don Watkins. But the statists refuse to acknowledge their own primary culpability, and instead opted to shield themselves from blame, protect their own power, and expand their control over the economy—with the help of “progressive” hacks in the media such as the statist editorialists of the Star-Ledger.

We don’t need more protection from Wall Street and financial institutions. We need protection from our “protectors”—and to hold the real political culprits accountable, starting with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Franklin Raines, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. We need to ignore “fake news” editorials like this one, and go back to the proverbial drawing boards. Repeal Dodd-Frank. Get honest with Americans. And then enact, revise, or repeal laws that will actually prevent such politically engineered crises from ever happening again, while retaining long-standing fraud protections but otherwise liberating the financial business to do its job of providing capital, savings and investment opportunities, and consumer financing for entrepreneurs and so-called “working families”—i.e., productive people—alike.


Related Reading:

Finally, Some Positive Recognition for the Statists' Favorite Whipping Boy, Wall Street

The Nature and the Origin of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis—San José State University
Department of Economics

The subprime mortgage crisis had its origin in the program the directors of Fannie Mae initiated in the late 1990's to pursue social welfare goals rather than maintain financial viability.

Altruism: The Moral Root of the Financial Crisis—Richard M. Salsman for The Objective Standard, Vol. 4. No. 1.

Why No Wall Street Prosecutions? The Villains Are All In Washington

Monday, July 23, 2018

QUORA: 'Should I report a right wing student in my class?'

QUORA *: Should I report a right wing student in my class? Our university has a “Prevent” policy, requiring that we report extremism. This student is vocal in class, speaking of white supremacist views and labeling others ‘communist’.

I submitted this answer:

It would be proper to report the student only if the student’s behavior is disrespectful and disruptive. But really, it is the professor’s job to control his classroom.

That aside, the university’s “Prevent” policy is certainly within the University administration’s right. But that doesn’t make it right. The vague term “extremism,” like the term “hate speech,” is a smear tactic useful only in intimidating and silencing an opposing voice. Racial supremacism may be “extreme”; but so is the view that “all men are created equal” and should be treated as such under the law, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

It is intellectual cowardice to report the student for his views, thus silencing him in the classroom. It is also impractical. First of all, you say actually learn something by listening, either by realizing that the “extremist” has a valid point or by using the ojectionable viewpoint as an opportunity to sharpen your own thinking and formulate a counterpoint. Second, disagreeable views cannot be defeated by silencing, in effect driving them underground where they metastasize. They can only be defeated by intellectually discrediting, and then by countering with a better viewpoint. Prohibition does not work. It didn’t work with alcohol. It doesn’t work with the “War on Drugs.” And it won’t work with ideas. Truth-seeking is about exposing and debating, not burying and retreating into an “echo chamber.”

The right move is just the opposite of reporting it. You should vigorously defend the “right wing student’s” right to express his views. Voltaire’s sentiment is applicable here, as it is to all individual rights: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." You should welcome the challenge posed by the “right wing student,” and then stand up for your beliefs rather than run for cover behind some ridiculous “Prevent” policy. The best response to “hate speech” is counter-speech. The only proper response to bad ideas is better ideas.

It is shocking that, with the record of fascism and communism still fresh in our history, that the tactic so beloved of dictatorships, intellectual oppression, is rising again in the land of the First Amendment--and on the campuses of so-called “institutions of higher learning” no less.

Related Reading:

Free Speech, not Self-Censorship, is the Answer to 'Offensive' Free Speech [UPDATED]

Budding Grassroots Campaign Against ‘Hate Speech’ is shallow, childish . . . and Dangerous

How to Overcome Bigotry in a Free Society

John Farmer's Understanding of Free Speech Rights as Non-Absolute is Dangerous and Wrong

* [Quora is a social media website founded by two former Facebook employees. According to Wikipedia:

Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. The company was founded in June 2009, and the website was made available to the public on June 21, 2010.[3]Quora aggregates questions and answers to topics. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users' answers.[4]

You can also reply to other users’ answers.]

Saturday, July 21, 2018

QUORA: 'Can we afford to have both continued economic growth and environmental protection?'

QUORA *: Can we afford to have both continued economic growth and environmental protection?

I posted this answer:

First, we must define “economic growth” and “environmental protection” so we know what we’re talking about.

“Economic growth” is essentially the rate of increase of human labor productivity. Only productivity can raise general human flourishing and quality of life—aka the standard of living. Economic growth, then, equates to a measure of the growth in the general standard of living. (GDP figures don’t actually measure economic growth. It measures money changing hands. More people working isn’t economic growth. People working more productively is.)

If we accept the environmentalist movement’s definition of “environmental protection,” which means to preserve and save the planet from human impact, then the answer to the question is an unequivocal NO. Economic growth cannot occur without human efforts to alter, improve on, and transform the natural environment. Nature gives man a danger-filled natural environment. Man, to survive and thrive, must work to transform nature into an environment conducive to human flourishing by applying science, technology, and industrialization. Changing the dangerous natural environment to suit human needs and flourishing is man’s means of survival and improvement. Ideological Environmentalism seeks to stop humans from employing his means of survival by placing unimproved nature above human flourishing as the moral standard of value, and is thus inimical to economic growth.

However, if by “environmental protection” we mean minimizing the negative side effects of industrial progress in a way that prioritizes human well-being and flourishing, such as by steadily reducing pollution and using raw materials more efficiently, then the answer has been irrefutably demonstrated in practice; wealthier nations are environmentally the cleanest, safest, and most livable. On a pro-human standard, not only can we afford both continued economic growth and environmental protection, we cannot afford environmental protection without robust economic growth. In this regard, I recommend Ronald Bailey’s book The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century, which he partially summarizes in his brief Scientific America piece Fast Growth Can Solve Climate Change. I also recommend Alex Epstein’s book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, which explains the vital role of reliable, economical energy to economic growth and human flourishing. Finally, Andrew Bernstein’s The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire demonstrates the vital necessity of individual liberty to economic and environmental progress.

Related Reading:

Time to Minimize "Macroeconomics"

Earth Day: The Anti-Industrial Revolution

* [Quora is a social media website founded by two former Facebook employees. According to Wikipedia:

Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. The company was founded in June 2009, and the website was made available to the public on June 21, 2010.[3]Quora aggregates questions and answers to topics. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users' answers.[4]

You can also reply to other users’ answers.]

Thursday, July 19, 2018

No Oil Industry, No Tourism Industry

The New Jersey Star-Ledger ran an editorial—Trump oil, gas plan imperils Jersey Shore (as of this writing not available online)—claiming that the Trump Administration’s policy of opening the Atlantic Ocean to offshore oil drilling ia an “attack” on coastal states “waged on behalf of oil companies” and “oil interests,” which supposedly clash with the “interests” of just about everyone else. “[T]his,” the S-L argues, “is an aggressive assault on our ecosystem and on a gargantuan economic engine.” While grudgingly acknowledging that the state would gain revenues (though no mention of private-sector job and other gains), becoming “a petrostate” would put . . .

our shoreline, businesses, homes, fishing industry and tourism business at risk.

You would think that even Trump and his creepily worshipful colleagues would recognize our value to the national economy. Instead, they have unleashed another attack on what most makes New Jersey unique.

Our 130-mile coastline is an economic powerhouse. It is the epicenter of a $44 billion tourism industry that supports a half-million jobs. It is home to more than $800 billion in coastal properties. Our commercial fishing industry supports another 50,000 jobs and generates $8 billion annually. And we have one of the largest recreational fishing industries in the nation.

“[C]lean coasts,” the S-L concludes, “are vital to the economic viability of every coastal state. They cannot be compromised or put at risk — full stop. And they must not be prostituted for oil interests without a fight.”

Pretty much all negative.

Incredible.

No acknowledgement of what powers this “gargantuan economic engine?”

Energy is the industry of industries. Without a reliable, economical, clean, mass-scale supply of energy, no modern industry exists. And what is the only energy capable of carrying that load? Oil and gas. Without it, there is no tourism industry; no fishing industry; no transportation industry; no modern housing industry, with its indoor plumbing, clean running water, heat & cooling systems; no agriculture industry capable of feeding the country; no any industry--not even a pollution control industry.

There may be valid reasons for not drilling in certain areas. But any discussion must take these facts into account: Those “oil interests” are human interests. They are our interests. The companies that produce the fossil fuels and we consumers who buy the fuels are not antagonists. They represent are harmony of interests.

The Left Environmentalists’ bullying and demonization aside, the men and women of the oil industry are not villains. They are heros. Thankfully, some people are willing to go to bat “on behalf of oil companies.” Trump’s many faults aside, his energy policy is spot on.

Related Reading:

The Suicidal Demonization of Fossil Fuels

A Humanist Approach To Environmental Issues—Alex Epstein @ Forbes

Fossil Fuels and Climate Change: Remember Life Before Them

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the 21st Century—Ronald Bailey

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Was Ayn Rand’s "Zeal to Stamp Out 'Pure Altruism'” Pointless?

I received several comments to my QUORA answer to Is Ayn Rand wrong about altruism?

From Mike Thompson

Well, that is a very interesting philosophical argument, but considering that in the history of humanity there have been exactly zero “pure altruists,” it would seem that Ms. Rand’s zeal to stamp out “pure altruism” was rather pointless.

My reply:

It’s true that, in the personal, private realm, there are no “pure altruists,” in the sense of someone who voluntarily self-sacrifices 100% of the time. A “pure altruist” is literally a dead altruist. But every individual act of altruism is, by definition, pure. Of course, one cannot live without being self-interested--and most people are self-interested in motivation most of the time. But since the selfish actions needed to support one’s life clashes with altruism, a person who accepts self-sacrifice as his standard of being moral is subject to a vague sense of unearned guilt, which can undermine happiness, self-confidence, and motivation. Curing that guilt is reason enough to conclude that Rand’s identification of the true nature of altruism in not pointless.

But altruism manifested in the political arena is a much clearer story.

Consider the collectivist dictatorships of the past 100 years. When you consider that plenty of political leaders have been inspired by altruism and tried to implement it, I would say Rand’s zeal was far from pointless. Millions of people were sacrificed in the name of the economic class, the race, the “people,” the “ideal” of equality, and on and on. I don’t see how it can be denied thar Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Mao’s Red China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and others were the handiwork of “pure altruists”. And they keep trying, albeit not always on so extreme a level. People have othen noted how the American regulatory welfare state never seems to stop growing, gradually undermining our individual freedoms, self-responsibility, and prosperity. That’s pure altruism at work, inexorably infiltrating and undermining the rational selfishness that implicitly underpins a free society. Notice that welfare state defenders are always concerned with the beneficiaries, but rarely with those whose forced sacrifices pay for it. That is altruism. The acceptance of altruism as a moral virtue points down a dangerous road, and we’ve seen the ultimate consequences. Hopefully, we heed Rand’s warning before that happens.

“Pure” (practiced consistently) or “impure” (practiced occasionally), altruism is a bad idea, with real-life consequences in both the personal and political realms. 

Related Audio:

The saga of The Twentieth Century Motor Company in Atlas Shrugged, in which the company founder’s heirs implemented the Marxist principle, “From Each According to His Ability, to Each According to his Need.” Parts one, two, and three.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Reply Responses to QUORA *: ‘Is Ayn Rand wrong about altruism?’

I received several comments to my QUORA answer to Is Ayn Rand wrong about altruism?

From Steven Johnston

one can have degrees of altruism. It is not undermining one's indivuality to help others out from time to time. We are a Social species after all. Even other primates display degrees of altruism within their groups. (sic)

My reply:

Steven;

Of course one’s individuality needn’t be undermined by helping others out from time to time. Helping out implies doing what one can afford for someone one values, whom one believes deserves it, who appreciates the help but does not “take the help for granted,” within the context of fitting the effort within one’s own more important hierarchy of priorities.

But that is beside the point. Altruism is not about helping others out from time to time. Altruism is giving an unconditional benefit regardless of personal harm or pain to oneself, even for the sole advantage of an unappreciative jerk who has no regard for the giver’s well-being because he thinks one unconditionally owes it to him. The question is not, to paraphrase Rand, whether one should or should not “help others out from time to time.” The issue is, does one have the moral right not to help out in any given circumstance? Common decency and respect answers yes, one does. Altruism answers no, one has no such right. That is the wickedness of altruism. One must conceptually distinguish between the two.

True, one can practice altruism (self-sacrifice) some of the time, as a token nod to one’s “duty” to be moral, and then go about his normal self-interested way (essentially cheating on one’s accepted morals). But there are no degrees of altruism, in that every individual act of altruism is an act of a specific nature--an act that by definition involves a sacrifice. (“Sacrifice,” properly understood, does not mean simply giving up a value in exchange for another, as in a trade. It means basically making one’s own life worse off by giving up a value and in return getting something you value less, not at all, or at the price of literal self-harmful.)

As to “other primates,” they are irrelevant to the moral issue. They do not have the uniquely human capacity for reason and free will, and thus no need or use for a moral code, let alone the capacity to even understand it. Human beings are not other primates. Other primates have their own unique identities and requirements for survival. We are human beings, and we have our own unique identities and requirements. You cannot discover a moral code suitable to human life by studying the instinctive habits of jungle animals.


Related Reading:

Is Science Catching Up to the Objectivist Ethics?

"Give Back" is a Sinister Ploy to Guilt Achievers Into Giving Up What They Have Earned

Is It Now ‘Respectable’ to be a Moocher?

The Worship of Need: The Path to Communism

Our Pick-Pocket Nation

Bezos Should Focus On Running His Company

Friday, July 13, 2018

Don’t Allow the Left to Own ‘Diversity’

In Diversity is 'a bunch of crap and un-American.' So says this N.J. Republican running for Congress, Jonathan D. Salant reports for the New Jersey Star Ledger:

The Republican candidate who won the nomination to succeed retiring New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo described diversity as a "bunch of crap and un-American". . .

Lawyer Seth Grossman, who emerged victorious from a three-way primary June 5, made the comments during the just-concluded primary campaign. Grossman won the GOP nomination to take on state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, for the seat LoBiondo is giving up after 24 years.

"The best way to bring diversity to the Republican Party is for Republicans to openly say that the whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American," Grossman said at an April 21 Republican debate at the Centerton Country Club in Pittsgrove.

"Diversity has become is an excuse by Democrats -- communists and socialists basically -- to say that we're not all created equal, that if somebody is lesser qualified, they will get a job anyway or they'll get into college anyway because of the tribe that they're with, what group, what box they fit into," he said.

"I believe in America that each individual should be judged on nothing but his or her talent, character and hard work," he said. "I'm rejecting the whole premise of diversity as a virtue."

I posted these comments:

I sympathize with Grossman. But I think he’s making a grave mistake. Diversity is a valid concept, not “crap.” The Left has hijacked the term in order to advance a highbrow collectivist agenda based on Marxist theory of group conflict.

Note that meaningful human diversity of uniquely individual attributes is brushed off by the Left as irrelevant. Yet in a free society it is these individual attributes—such as intelligence, ability, ambition, moral character, values, goals, experience, personal circumstances, temperament, etc.—that allows each individual to flourish as much as those attributes will carry him on whatever path he chooses. If the Left really valued diversity, they’d be crusaders for the economic and political freedom that allows individual human diversity to flourish. But this sense of meaningful diversity belongs to individualism, the core of Americanism.

Individual diversity clashes with the Left’s collectivism, so they smother individual diversity under a tribal agenda. Yes, the Left is socialist/communist oriented. It’s collectivist concept of diversity is un-American. The Left has defined diversity around a racial and gender narrative for a reason. It’s goes deeper than racism. A society that values individual diversity will never go for socialism. A society that values the collective over the individual as the standard of moral value is primed for socialist authoritarianism in one form or another. So far, they’re winning.

That’s why we shouldn’t allow the Left to define diversity in collectivist terms. Rather than brush off diversity as crap, we who believe in Americanism need to recapture the term. Diversity as applied to content of individual character, each with a mind is her own apart from any group characteristics, is what America is about.


Related Reading:

SEC’s Boardroom ‘Diversity’ Rule Is Racist, Unnatural, and Politically Motivated

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice—Craig Biddle

DelBarton Student’s 'Diversity' Initiative, Though Well-Meaning, is Based on Counter-Productive Premises

The Founding Fathers, Not ‘Diversity,’ is the Solution to ‘Our Racialized Society’

Starbucks/USA Today’s Racist “Race Together” Campaign