Libertarian Pacifism: A Pacifism by Any Other Name Wouldn’t Smell as Sweet

Note:  This post is not aimed at all Libertarians.  There are some Libertarians who are not pacifist.  I am only discussing those who advocate pacifism while hiding behind the Constitution.  I am in agreement with many who state that wars should be declared and stated with a clear purpose by our government; to do anything less and drag a war out longer than necessary is, in and of itself, immoral.  This post isn’t meant to be a discussion on war-gaming.  It is, instead, a philosophical post.

Ayn Rand correctly identified the source of all conflicts in the world when she said:

Wars are the second greatest evil that human societies can perpetrate. (The first is dictatorship, the enslavement of their own citizens, which is the cause of wars.)

As long as there are societies on earth who endorse collectivism or dictatorships in any form, whether secular or theocratic, then there will always be wars.  Collectivism is any system of governance defined as that which demands the sacrifice of the individual to the collective with altruism (or in some cases simply the psychosis of its dictator) as its justification. 

My inspiration for this post came after reading an article entitled Glenn Beck’s Lincoln Contradictions by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.  Mr. DiLorenzo utilizes the term “Neo-con” quite a bit.  I want to state upfront that the proliferation of all these new terms, Neo-Con, Neo-Liberal, Neo-Keynesian, Neo-Communist, Neo-Fascist, are simply attempts at continued muddying of the real argument which is between collectivism vs. individualism.  That is the only descriptive consideration that matters when discussing man’s inalienable right to be free; the rest is simply meant to confuse people’s minds and complicate the issues.

Let’s be frank–there is no discernible difference between Libertarian pacifism and Left-Wing pacifism.  Pacifism is pacifism and the justifications for it no matter from which group it arises are equally misguided.  Ayn Rand had this to say about pacifism:

The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.

If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.

Leftists justify their pacifism usually by intoning their committment to peace.  Peace cannot be achieved by the absence of all conflict.  It can only be achieved by the destruction of all collectivism.  Human existence is defined by conflict; the hiring of one person over another who is better qualified, the victory of this hockey team over that hockey team, the victim of a robbery or rape who pulls his gun against his victimizer in order to defend the value which is his or her’s continued existence.  Those who wish to pretend that in order to live one’s life by trying to ignore conflict simply because they don’t like it–will never learn how to achieve the greatest value of all which is their life and by default their happiness. 

Pacifist Libertarians tend to justify their pacifism on the grounds that all cultures are equally valuable and have the right to exist on their own terms without interference from other cultures.  However, the notion of multiculturalism is equally flawed in its premises.  The idea that all cultures are equal in their value necessarily demands that you therefore believe all collectivist cultures have value.  You cannot claim, as many Libertarians do, to stand for individual freedom while at the same time trying to justify the existence of collectivist cultures; that is called “wanting to have your cake and eat it too.”  That is a demand reality imposes on any individual who wants to stand for individual freedom.

From the article Diversity and Multiculturalism:  The New Racism at The Ayn Rand Institute:

Advocates of “diversity” are true racists in the basic meaning of that term: they see the world through colored lenses, colored by race and gender. To the multiculturalist, race is what counts—for values, for thinking, for human identity in general. No wonder racism is increasing: color blindness is now considered evil, if not impossible. No wonder people don’t treat each other as individuals: to the multiculturalist, they aren’t.

Advocates of “diversity” claim it will teach students to tolerate and celebrate their differences. But the “differences” they have in mind are racial differences, which means we’re being urged to glorify race, which means we’re being asked to institutionalize separatism. “Racial identity” erects an unbridgeable gulf between people, as though they were different species, with nothing fundamental in common. If that were true—if “racial identity” determined one’s values and thinking methods—there would be no possibility for understanding or cooperation among people of different races.

Some ask, “What about America’s melting-pot?  Isn’t that multiculturalism?”  No.  It’s not.  America was devised by its Founders to elevate the individual over the government.  All other nations throughout history elevated the government over the individual.  Freedom of the individual over the government provides a country where all men, of all cultures, backgrounds, and religions come to be free “as individuals” within the American culture of individual freedom.  Can they uphold their roots and honor and celebrate them?  Absolutely.  But, America is not defined by those various cultural roots–she is defined by the individual which is, in and of itself, a “culture.”

I will agree with Mr. DiLorenzo’s statements, as well as Ms. Rand’s statements, that many times war is used to justify the theft of liberty by a nation against its own people.  He says:

Of course, all of this high-handed talk about the Republican Party supposedly being “the party of great moral ideas” is also a convenient smokescreen for the economic greed that is its real motivation, and has been ever since the party first gained power. As Rothbard further explained: “On the economic level, the Republicans [in 1860] adopted the Whig program of statism and big government: protective tariffs, subsidies to big business, strong central government, large-scale public works, and cheap credit spurred by government.” It hasn’t changed much since.

I am in complete agreement with this assessment; both parties are guilty of crony capitalism which is the politically correct term for Fascism.  The only difference is–the Democrats are more open about it while the Republicans like to pretend they are not engaged in it.  Presidents Wilson, FDR and George W. Bush, to name a few, were all guilty of growing government under their administrations during a time of war.  I have no argument with that assertion.  What I do challenge is the notion that a  nation’s citizens cannot demand limited government at home, which necessarily entails separation of the state and economics for the same reasons and same purpose we have separation of church and state, while at the same time protecting itself from threats over-seas.  Many Libertarians say that’s what they want too but then reveal themselves by saying the phrase “protecting itself from threats over-seas” means “bring the troops home from everywhere and cease and desist active conflict”.  Yes.  That’s called “pacifism”.  If you are not actively fighting but instead you are sitting on your weapons–that is pacifism.  If your enemy has already declared war (which the Islamists have) and you are not acknowledging the need to fight back actively–that is pacifism.  If you are not fighting–you are being “passive.”     

What complicates America’s situation is–we are not living in a fully free society under true laissez-fair capitalism.  That is the reason we keep growing government every time we find it necessary to wage a battle against collectivist threats from elsewhere.  I submit, it most certainly is possible to have and maintain limited government and fight necessary wars against collectivists who threaten their free-state neighbors.  The pacifist Libertarians promote the false premise that war must necessarily equal big-government.  These are mutually exclusive concepts; they are not dependent on each other for their existence–necessarily.  A free-nation can remain an economically free nation under laissez-faire capitalism and fight a war to defend itself; the keyword is defend —in other words–not subjugate–which is what tyrannical nations feel it necessary to do against their neighbors when losing their grip on power.  The promotion of the idea that a free nation engaged in a war to defend itself will necessarily result in the growth of its government–is simply a false premise.  Whether that free nation’s leaders grow government or not is another matter entirely and those issues can be dealt with apart from the issue of war itself.

Another aspect that is problematic for America is that we have spread ourselves too thin.  I am in complete agreement with most Libertarians who assert we have too many troops stationed in too many areas of the world where we should no longer be; the Middle East is not one of them, however.  There is no discernible difference between Adolph Hitler, a secular collectivist, and the collectivist theocratic tyrants of the Middle East.  Hitler was driven by national socialism and his irrational hatred for the Jews.  The collectivist theocrats of the Middle East are driven, not only for their hatred of Israel (take note also a free-society–though with a similarly mixed economy like the U.S.), but also by the notion they are doing the will of their God by fighting the infidels for the purpose of creating the conditions of the return of the Twelfth Imam.  Libertarians often state that the Islamists hate us because we are “occupying their land”–but, they rarely, if ever, address the theocratic reasons the Islamists give us in their own words as to why they are fighting us.  Usually the Libertarian will just say, “Those are just words” or “That’s just an excuse”.  Ironically, those are the same excuses the Left-Wing pacifists give in regards to their reasons for upholding pacifist ideas.

All collectivist societies need war to uphold their control on their populations.  That is why it is so imperative that America beat back the march towards statism in our own country and restore true laissez-fair capitalism as opposed to the mixed disaster we currently employ.  If America’s leaders are indeed using war as an excuse to uphold crony capitalism then that is an issue we as citizens need to confront them with; it doesn’t necessarily translate into “therefore, we can’t fight necessary wars anymore.”  From Ayn Rand:

Observe that the major wars of history were started by the more controlled economies of the time against the freer ones. For instance, World War I was started by monarchist Germany and Czarist Russia, who dragged in their freer allies. World War II was started by the alliance of Nazi Germany with Soviet Russia and their joint attack on Poland.

By no means am I implying that it is the duty of America to transform all of the collectivist societies of the world into bastions of free-market capitalism–no matter how appealing that notion may be.  In fact, that is the only way there ever will be peace in the world–the supremacy of free capitalist societies upholding freedom of the individual.  What I am saying, however, is that it is the duty of the American government, indeed it is the one primary duty of any government of a free-society, to protect its citizens from collectivist tyrants who now need to turn their attention to warring with the free-societies around them in order to maintain their power and hold over their own citizens.  By no means am I even suggesting that the citizens of our country who do have problems with armed conflict from a moral or religious perspective should not be allowed to reserve their tax dollars from being used for that purpose just as those who don’t approve of abortion shouldn’t be forced to have their tax dollars used for that purpose.  However, we do not have that ideal system at the moment and that is a discussion for another time.

Pacifism is driven by guilt over the necessity of justifiable war.  It is an unearned guilt.  Many people are driven in their objection to war by the deaths of “innocent” people.  The truth of the matter is, any “innocent” deaths created in the Middle East by America and it’s allies–i.e. other free-societies–are not on the heads of America and its allies.  The deaths of those people are on the heads of the tyrannical collectivists who enslaved their people to begin with.  A free-nation, just as a free-individual, has the right to protect itself from the force of others who would impose their tyrannical will.  The death of innocent people in a war is no different than that of a woman stepping between you and the mugger you were aiming your gun at and who happened to get shot in the cross-fire.  The mugger’s death is called justice.  The woman’s death is called an “accident” and the guilt of that accidental death is not on the head of the one defending himself but instead lies with the mugger. Whether tyrannical force stems from a tyrannical dictator against it’s more free neighbors or from a mugger in Central Park against a jogger–is irrelevant.  The morality and ethics of the two situations are the same; and it always, without exception, boils down to the individual over the collective, and since capitalism is the only economic system which upholds the freedom of the individual it is only capitalism that can save the world from the constant threat of war.  From Capitalism:  The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand:

     Observe the nature of today’s alleged peace movements.  Professing love and concern for the survival of mankind, they keep screaming that the nuclear-weapons race should be stopped, that armed force should be abolished as a means of settling disputes among nations, and that war should be outlawed in the name of humanity.  Yet these same peace movements do not oppose dictatorships; the political views of their members range through all shades of the statist spectrum, from welfare statism to socialism to fascism to communism.  This means that they are opposed to the use of coercion by one nation against another, but not by the government of a nation against its own citizens; it means that they are opposed to the use of force against armed adversaries, but not against the disarmed.

It is those who, like our friends Cindy Sheehan and Sean Penn, uphold collectivist economics, socialism, communism, or fascism while at the same time preaching peace.  They hold the incorrect premise that we have wars because various populations are poor or subjugated by the more free societies.  Free societies under laissez-fair capitalism have no “need” for war since their citizens and government have plenty of creative fuel on which to draw derived from the very freedom of its citizens.  It is Cindy and Sean who are the hypocrites.  It is they who want to “have their cake and eat it too.”  Reality, from a philosophical perspective, cannot and will not ever allow opposing ideas to occupy the same philosophical space.  They want peace–but, they promote tyranny; and it will always be the reality of that dichotomy that will not let them, in the end, have their way.  It is they who are promoting tyranny.  It is they who stand with the likes of Hugo Chavez.  It is they who, by virtue of what they advocate, are actually continuing that which they say they hate the most–war.

Treason: It’s Not an Outdated Concept

Spiegel Online International posted an interview with Left-Wing icon Daniel Ellsberg.  Spiegel asked Ellsberg:

“You were the ultimate whistleblower. In 1971, you leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, revealing that the government was well aware the Vietnam War couldn’t be won. You changed history but were vilified and prosecuted for it. Would you still do it today.” 

Ellsberg’s response was:

“I wouldn’t wait that long. I would get a scanner and put them on the Internet.”

The Vietnam War was not won because the Left sabotaged it; just like they are doing now in regards to the War on Terror.  And let’s not forget:  members of both parties said this was a conflict about which we needed to remain vigilant.  Members of both parties voted for it. 

Just for the record, what Daniel Ellsberg did is called…treason.  This is a word I would like to bring back with the full force of it’s meaning.  This notion the Left has put forward that there is no such thing as treason to one’s country is just like everything else they put forward:  muddled, unethical, unprincipled, civilization detroying, clap-trap.  It is the constant drum-beat that there is no such thing as right and wrong.  Yes, there is such a thing as right and wrong.  I can personally testify to that reality.  I’ve studied enough philosophy to know that right and wrong do indeed exist as verifiable, objective concepts.  If right and wrong didn’t exist we would live in anarchy and would be killing each other in the streets.  Pretty simple. 

From The Lectric Law Library Lexicon:

“The Constitution of the United States, Art. III, defines treason against the United States to consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort. This offence is punished with death. By the same article of the Constitution, no person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

The act of speaking out against war is the very essence of free speech.  In today’s media outlet, however, where words are broadcast instantly across the globe, you are, as far as I’m concerned, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy”. 

The world is perishing not only from “an orgy self-sacrifice” as Ayn Rand would say in regards to economics–but also of intellectual retardation put forth by the inability to think critically.  We have the liberal-elite controlled schools to thank for that little gift where there is no such thing as an “F”.  I digress.    

In addition to a clarification on the definition of  the word “treason” we also need to discuss the difference between self-defense and murder.  This is how the Left gets away with muddying up the concepts.  The Left has promoted the idea that self-defense and murder are the same thing.  They are not. 

As an Objectivist I hate using religion to defend political positions.  When the Left, however, uses religion to defend their positions then you need to defeat them with their own words.  From Bible-Study.org:

“According to the Bible not all killing is murder.”

You can read the rest of the link for more religious clarification.

As an Objectivist, I simply say it is the intent that matters.  If you are defending yourself you are justified.  If you are murdering, in other words committing the act for the sake of committing the act or to prevent yourself from being discovered in the act of some other immoral act you have performed such as breaking and entering where the homeowner has arrived home, you are not justified.  It is the intent behind the act that determines whether it is justifiable or not.

How long will we wait to declare war?  The extremists have declared it on us numerous times.  They’ve made their intentions clear about wanting to make Westerners submit to their religion.  Their grievance is not just about “leaving their land” as Ron Paul seems to believe.   And will waiting produce a horror even more vivid than 9/11?  Perhaps we will wait until a dirty bomb goes off in one of our cities to find out?  Hey…why not?  We have Somali terrorists crossing our southern border disguised as Mexicans.  If I’m not mistaken one of the things we supposedly “learned” from 9/11 was the degree to which the terrorists who flew planes into our buildings were here illegally?  I’m bi-partisanly pissed off in regards to this issue because the Republicans were no better at enforcing border security when they had the chance.  In fact, McCain tried to push for amnesty for illegals.  There is nothing like a little intellectual inconsistency to make the world…not go ’round. 

The politician says, “We have terrorists who mean to do harm and we should fight them…, but, hey…let’s leave the borders in complete chaos!”

Give me a break. 

It is even worse now with a party in power, who for all intents and purposes, believe there should be no borders because we’re all one big happy global family!  That…and the fact that since Americans typically reject Leftism they need the votes of people who do not understand our culture and constitution to keep putting them in power.

If I had members of my family who were as violently disfunctional as the socialist, communist, fascistic and theocratic countries which are still in existence–I’d be looking for legal separation with restraining orders attached.

Treason.  Yes–it’s still a viable concept.

Bill Press from The Reading Eagle: When You Put Down Your Vitriol Then We Will Do the Same; Otherwise–Prepare for War

Bill Press

I am getting a little tired of being told by Leftists to “play nice” when the very fabric of our Republic and free-market is at stake.  Progressive Leftists learned long ago that they could not collectivize a society by using guns to intimidate and enslave the populace; so, they replaced their guns with hate-filled rhetoric.  They use this tactic to pit people against each other while Progressives work behind the scenes to steal liberty from the people.  I have news for you, Mr. Press, Americans are onto this tactic.  Many of us have been on to this tactic for a long time while at the same time wondering why our fellow citizens did not appear to see the same thing.  The jig is up Bill.  Even Jeffersonian Democrats have been enlightened as to just how much the hard Left has hijacked this nation.    

Mr. Press, in his latest article, Easy way to end hate-filled talk radio is simply to turn it off, apparently believes certain men and women from conservative talk radio are too “toxic” and too “hate-filled.”  Democrats use words like “toxic” and “hate-filled” when Conservatives tell the truth about the real intentions of Progressive Democrats.  He refers to them as members of the “radical Right.”  What exactly, Mr. Press, is radical about limited government and the preservation of capitalism–which are the only two conditions under which men can retain their God-given rights as free individuals?  The title of his article should be:  “What Democrats Have Wanted for 100 Years:  Total and Complete Economic Control Over the Citizenry Because We Can’t Win Debate Any Other Way.”    

Mr. Press believes these various hosts to be off base when describing the truths about the top-down tyranny this country has been evolving towards in the last 10o years via his beloved Progressive politics and Progressive Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson and FDR.   

Mr. Press may be asking himself, “Why would a gay man defend conservative talk show hosts?”  Well, Mr. Press…I learned something ages ago which you apparently have yet to learn:  conservatism / classical liberalism and the Judeo-Christian foundation upon which this nation was built is precisely why I can be a gay man in this country while not swinging by my homosexual neck.  In case you have not noticed, sir, all of the countries who promote collectivist policies such as you do–eventually massacre not only their own citizens–but, many times various minority groups within those countries who become “problematic” as well.  As a gay man I certainly do not agree with all stands taken by some conservative hosts especially when it comes to civil recognition of gay relationships.  But, I can guarantee you this much–I do agree with them on some basic principles:  limited government, capitalism, common sense national defense, and individual liberty–not to mention promotion of moral and ethical standards to our young people via objective education where they are taught how to think critically as opposed to being taught what to think via Left-Wing collectivists who choose to rewrite our history.  I have listened to all of the talk show hosts that Mr. Press has mentioned in his article quite extensively over the last decade.  And I can tell you this much–the only hateful rhetoric coming from these hosts are toward the hardcore Progressive Left-Wing that has hijacked the once-great Jeffersonian Democrat Party and their tactics of divisiveness which they use to keep people at each others’ throats…why don’t you address that hatred Mr. Press?  

Now…to address some of the article assertions, point-by-point:  

“Both were lamenting the increasingly ugly rhetoric that has replaced legitimate debate about the issues on right-wing talk radio. It’s the very phenomenon I explore in my new book, “Toxic Talk: How the Radical Right Has Poisoned America’s Airwaves.”  

My response:  Let me know when your book reaches the kind of sales numbers Mr. Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny” or Mr. Glenn Beck’s “Arguing With Idiots” reaches–then we’ll talk.  

“Rush Limbaugh still holds the title of hate-monger No. 1. Without providing any evidence from Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s speeches or writing, Limbaugh daily calls her a socialist and accuses Democrats of rushing into confirmation hearings before her radicalism is understood by the public.”  

My response:  It seems Mr. Limbaugh’s assertion that Elena is a socialist is not quite the lie Mr. Press wishes it was.  Here is her thesis for your enjoyment.  In the last paragraph of her thesis she writes:  

The story is a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America.  Radicals have often succumbed to the devastating bane of sectarianism; it is easier, after all, to fight one’s fellows than it is to battle and entrenched and powerful foe.  Yet if the history of Local New York shows anything, it is that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies.  In unity lies their only hope.  

Seems pretty sympathetic to socialism to me–not to mention the fact she thanks her radical brother for many of his ideas;  Leftist poison does tend to run in families.  

Mr. Press referring to Glenn Beck:  “This, of course, is the same talk-show host who, in total ignorance of the Gospels, warned Christians to run out of their churches if they ever hear the words social justice or economic justice because, according to Beck, those are just code words for communism and Nazism.”  

My response:  Mr. Press…here is an article that will help clear up your ignorance about whether or not socialism is in the Bible.  And I would also ask you, Mr. Press, if someone hires a hitman to do their killing for them–does it make them any less culpable for the murder?  I think not.  The same goes for socialism.  Just because you elect representatives to our government to do your stealing for you–makes you no less culpable in the theft, sir.  Not to mention–we are discovering that some churches are indeed preaching social justic and economic justice from their pulpits.  These are code-words for socialism and communism.  One only has to recall the revealing aspects of Black Liberation Theology preached by Obama’s own pastor–Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  The Bible never condoned stealing from one person to give to another.  Theft is theft, Mr. Press.  As a Left-Wing Progressive I would also ask where your concern is regarding a link that is being constructed between church and the state?  Hypocrite. 

“Mark Levin attacked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as a radical leftist and a bigot.”  

My response:  Attached is a particular cut from one of Mr. Levin’s shows where he breaks down Justice Sotomayor’s attitudes about race.  Whatever she may be–she is certainly not color-blind.   

“Michael Savage, perhaps the most vicious of all, once told a gay caller, ‘You should only get AIDS and die, you pig.'”  

My response:  This particular statement has been run through the liberal meat-grinder.  While I am not a fan of his particular method of enlightening people regarding their own behavior–Mr. Savage worked, in the early 80’s during the onset of the AIDS crisis, as a nutritionist in a San Francisco clinic serving gay men.  When he mentioned to many of them that perhaps going to gay bath houses and sleeping with a few dozen men in one evening was not a good thing and perhaps they should be shut down–the gay community turned on him.  The gay Left strikes again, “We’re all dying from AIDS due to our own irresponsibility and recklessness–how dare you try to care about us!”  I rest my case.   

“Ever since 1987 and the end of the Fairness Doctrine, which freed station owners from having to provide any balance on the air, conservatives have dominated talk radio to the point where, according to a 2007 report of the Center for American Progress, there are at least 10 hours of right-wing talk for every one hour of progressive talk.”  

My response:  That really eats at you Lefties doesn’t it?  The fact that, when the Fairness Doctrine (a restriction on free-speech by manipulating the free-market) was ended, Conservative talk-radio ballooned in the free-market of ideas; meanwhile, liberals stations such as Air America have barely been able to keep their heads above water.  

“What’s the answer? Progressives need to get in the game by buying their own radio stations, for starters. Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine might also be part of the answer, but Obama’s already said he’s against it.”   

My response:  Go ahead!  Buy your own stations!  They’ll go broke…but, hey…have at it!  The less money you have–the more freedom-loving Americans won’t need to be tortured by you!  And bringing back the Fairness Doctrine?  So…you’re in favor of limiting free-speech?  

…but, in Mr. Press’s next paragraph he says:  

“Censorship’s clearly not the answer. The First Amendment protects all speech, even ugly speech. It also guarantees every American the right to make a fool of himself, as long as there are enough other fools willing to listen.”  

My response:  It’s clearly not the answer as long as Mr. Obama, as you previously stated, is against it?  But…if Mr. Obama were for it…you would support it wholeheartedly?   

I’m so confused by the intellectual trapeze flips you are doing, Mr. Press.  It would be so much easier to follow you if you could just learn to put two plus two together to equal four!  No wonder you guys on liberal talk-radio have such a problem with your ratings–nothing you say makes any sense!  

Your dream, Mr. Press, for conservatives to just sit down and shut up will not happen.  It will not happen unless the Far Left fringe is once and for all purged, not only from the Democrat Party but from the governmental bureaucracies as well–thereby returning the party to its classically liberal roots.  Until that time, Mr. Press–I suggest you keep preparing for war.

Objectivism: The Collectivist Can Be Defeated

Philosophy.  Who needs it?  America needs it–especially our youth and business people.  Their futures are being consigned to economic slavery due to the false education they are being provided by Leftists…and not just Leftists but “compassionate conservatives” as well.  Without economic freedom there can be no social freedom; for gays, women, blacks or any other minority.  Whenever a society ceases to allow individuals to keep the fruits of their labor–they are then, by default, living for the state and they are no longer socially free.  A society cannot have it both ways and still call itself a “free nation.”

That philosophical truth is the basis for Ayn Rand’s novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as her other writings on philosophy that followed…and it is within that philosophy, that which she called “Objectivism”, in which the collectivist can be defeated.  She arrived in America when she was young–having escaped the collectivist nightmare under which she was living in Russia. 

If this nation is to survive…collectivism must be defeated.  I recently posted on my Facebook page the following:

“There is no such thing as a compromise with collectivism.  You cannot state that, ‘We’ll just have a little socialism.’  There is no such thing.  It either is or is not collectivism. You cannot say, ‘I have self-esteem’ as an individual and then consign yourself and others to collectively live for each other. That is inherently a contradiction…and there are no such things as contradictions. There are only philosophical premises that are incorrect.”

From Atlas Shrugged

“Contradictions do not exist.  Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises.  You will find that one of them is wrong”.

An individual’s lack of self-esteem is what drives him to allow himself to be put in chains.  Conversely, it is also a lack of self-esteem (or perhaps hyper self-esteem?…certainly not a healthy self-esteem) which drives statist maniacs like Chavez and Hitler to exist.  It is the force of their minds that allow them to believe they can possibly know what is best for an entire collective population made up of individual brains. 

Philosophy, as we all know, can be complicated.  However, the basic premise of her philosophy is as follows:

Man’s only means of knowledge and survival is his own mind.  There is no such thing as a “collective brain”…there are only individual brains under which people can live together within the civil, lawful society our Founders created in our wonderful documents.  However, even in Ayn’s view our Founders almost had it right.  Their idea of limited governance was correct, however, economically she believed they left to many loopholes available to allow politicians the opportunity to assault true laissez faire capitalism.

You often hear politicians say, “It is for the public good.”  Who is the public?  What does the “public” consider “it’s good?”  There is no such thing as the public.  There are only individuals…because there is no such thing as a collective brain.  The idea of the “public good” is built upon a false premise–and is precisely why we are devolving into a nanny state.

We have had communal experiments in our country–almost since it’s founding.  They almost always failed and even if they survived it was usually because they were still sucking off the teat of the capitalism that surrounded them.  The collectivist will try to reason with himself saying, “The reason my collectivism doesn’t work is because all of you individualists keep destroying my effort.”  Accept, that’s not the case.  Collectivism doesn’t work simply because it is philosophically flawed in it’s very premise.  Even when you have an entire group of people who agree to the experiment it will fail.  Hypothetically, let’s say an entire group goes to a deserted island to try the experiment.  The commune must have some sort of rules by which it must govern itself…and usually it is up to an individual or group of individuals to exercise those rules.  Someone must decide who is more or less “equal” than someone else when handing out rations or responsibilities.  Inevitably what starts to happen are jealousies and resentments among the collective–and it devolves into chaos. 

Objectivism promotes what she called “rational self-interest”.  That is not the same as “selfishness.”  They are two very different things.  A man’s rational self-interest is that which benefits those things that he values as an individual.  Selfishness, as she stated in an interview once, is when you allow your spouse, someone you value as an individual, to perish because you decided to go out and spend money on that visit to the night-club rather than giving him the money for the operation he so desperately needed.  Her philosophy doesn’t necessarily condemn charitable efforts.  She only condemned charitable efforts if it meant that you, as an individual, were sacrificing your own rational-self interest–the means by which you need to survive.  She regarded altruism as evil…putting your own self-worth above others when doing so damages your own survival.

She once stated, “Look at Russia.  Communism is based on altruism.  Look at Nazi Germany.  The Nazis were more explicit than even the Russians in preaching self-sacrifice and altruism.  Every dictatorship is based on altruism.  You can’t fight it [altruism] by merely saying it is a difference of opinion.  It is a difference of life and death.” 

Man’s reason and logic is the means to his survival.  It is the ability to add two and two and get four.  Ayn rejected the Leftist, secular, “mystical” notions of feelings to arrive at knowledge–since feelings are subjective and not a true barometer of knowing objective truth.  It is also the reason why the collectivist attempts to convince you there is no such thing as right and wrong, good and evil, or even objective truth; it is their attempt to mold society to fit their emotional premises.  She also rejected those of faith who use their faith to know reality (and there are those both on the left and the right who use their faith to justify legislative decisions and collectivism).  Faith requires a leap of the mind.  It is personal for each individual.  There is no way to know for certain that what those of faith say and believe is real.  By it’s very nature it is contradictory and does not lend itself to scientific, observable proof.  She did accept morality as an objective truth.  Morality is man’s only means to deal truthfully in a civil society with each other.  Without morality and concepts of right and wrong we would not be able to live with our fellow human beings; society would quickly devolve into chaos.  On a side note, Ayn was an atheist.  I am not.  However, I have taught myself to base my political arguments and debates on reason and evidence–while keeping my faith out of it.

The individualist can defeat collectivism based on this philosophy…because it always leads you to the objective truth.  There are many on the religious right who find her philosophy uncomfortable because they feel their faith is threatened.  However, I would contend that there is no reason to have that fear because when you are dealing with a philosophy that leads you to objective truth–you simply cannot go wrong.  Of course, the Leftists have always despised her philosophy because it lays bare their emotional assumptions on which they base their debates.  There is a reason liberals and Democrats don’t like to debate.  Conservatives, while they sometimes use their faith to make their arguments (a habit I wouuld like to break them of), tend to approach things naturally from the rational, logical perspective as part of their inherent nature which already exists within them.

From the beginnings of this nation’s founding, a founding based on classical liberalism (free economics and a free society), there have been leftists who led our population to believe that–they were still classical liberals even while they grew government.  Then when the population figured out that lie and realized what some were calling “liberalism” was really “collectivism”–the collectivists then changed what they called themselves to “Progressives.”  The collectivist must always change what he calls himself to hide what he is doing…and this is why we can no longer compromise with these people.  It will destroy us if we allow it.  There is a reason they say, “No good crisis should go to waste.”  They use any crisis as an excuse to grow their political power–and it is ONLY about growing political power.  It has nothing to do with helping “the little guy.”  And…unfortunately, we have been subjected to these collectivist notions from both sides of the aisle.

“A leash is only a rope with a noose on both ends.”  The Fountainhead