Rebirth of Reason

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Wednesday, August 26 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
Here is my main takeaway from night 2 of the Republican convention.I hadn't realized the oath of citizenship includes a promise to submit if conscripted. I guess from the point of view of someone who thinks conscription is OK, it makes sense. From an Objectivist point of view, it is incongruous at best.

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Thursday, August 27 - 3:52amSanction this postReply

The oath.


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Tuesday, September 1 - 5:51pmSanction this postReply

Merlin, I followed the link to the history of the Oath.


An official standard text for the oath of allegiance did not appear in the regulations until 1929. The regulation said that before a naturalization certificate could be issued, the applicant should take the following oath in court:


I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, State, or sovereignty, and particularly to __________ of who (which) I have heretofore been a subject (or citizen); that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion: So help me God. In acknowledgment whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.


I am not sure if I would take the present oath.  I mean, I did take this oath in 2014:


I, MICHAEL MAROTTA , do solemnly swear

that I will bear true faith and allegiance

to the State of Texas

and to the United States of America;

that I will serve them honestly and faithfully

against all their enemies whomsoever,


that I will obey the orders

of the Governor of Texas and the orders

of the officers appointed over me,

according to the laws, rules and articles

for the government of the Military Forces of Texas.


But the thing is that service in the Texas State Guard was voluntary. If you cannot obey the orders, then you can leave (as you ought to, of course). As an Objectivist, I was pretty clear in my own mind what I was promising. And I lived up to it. 

Taking the Oath of Enlistment

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Wednesday, September 2 - 11:35amSanction this postReply

Thinking about this overnight... The standard is self-interest. The rational question is: What are the consequences to you? In other words, suppose you wanted to be an American citizen, took the oath, and then did not want to serve? Objectively, that in itself is not immoral. It would depend on the circumstances. If America were invaded by a totalitarian nation, then, clearly, your interests be defined toward service. (See below.) What if it were more of an Atlas Shrugged situation, where you are drafted to enforce totalitarian government? Again, your rational self-interest would be to consider the consequences to yourself. 


Consider perjury. If you were called as a witness against a defendent who is accused of breaking an unjust law, then you could be perfectly moral in lying under oath, assuming that you think that you can get away with it. Likewise, that person's actions are not a claim on you. If they are arrested, and if you have knowledge, and you are called to testify, the penalty to you if you are caught lying would be in the balance. Your self-interest is the standard.



Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. But Hawaii was an independent kingdom before America annexed it. What if the Japanese held the islands, held a plebscite, and won the election? Why should you die to get Hawaii back? Just asking...  Over on the Galt's Gulch Online board, discussions about World War II included people who had a hard time with Ayn Rand's opposition to US involvement in Europe's war. My suggestion that it is not important to me which nation occupied the Aleutian Islands did not meet with support.  People tend not to view war rationally. I believe that Rand did. The over-arching perspective is the inevitable failure of the muscle-mystic state. Left to their own looter states collapse. If anything, war provides the people in the enemy state with excuses to continue. The worse you make it for them, the more they are willing to suffer -- or their leaders are willing to let them suffer. '


Then, that brings up other considerations, such as trade. I believe that it would be wrong for the government to enact an embargo, but perfectly proper for individuals to decide on their own and in mass to stop dealing with a looter government or the individuals who live under it. If the USA had no gotten into World War II, it would still be proper for you to refuse to buy Zeiss binoculars even as in fact, Zeiss did protect its own Jewish employees from the Nazi state. While clearly victims at several levels, both the foundation (Zeiss was a not-for-profit foundation), and its employees nonetheless were responsible for their own actions.


(Are you willing to never buy the best lenses on the planet because you oppose the altruistic ethics of a not-for-profit foundation?)


(Edited by Michael Marotta on 9/02, 11:40am)

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