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Post 40

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 1:29pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,
My post #36 is my sincere opinion and my assessment after a careful reading of Ted's posts. If you don't like it, fine.



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Post 41

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 3:06pmSanction this postReply
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George Cordero wrote:

Ultimately, a people always get the type of government they deserve.


What a disgusting sentiment!

Really? Did the South Vietnamese deserve the communist hell they were abandoned to? I don't recall any willingness on the South Vietnamese to roll over and willingly let their communist masters rule them?

The fact that in this case the weaker side does not have the power alone to defend themselves from the more powerful and the more immoral does not at all reflect justification of living in a totalitarian regime. People don't deserve to be outnumbered or outgunned by the criminals that surround them. People do not deserve to be squashed by the immoral due to shear brute force the immoral have as a tactical advantage. And why was it the case they were outnumbered and outgunned? Because their allies, abandoned them to that fate.Those with the power to govern does not necessarily reflect that the people willingly gave them that power.

This sentiment expressed that people always deserve the government they get is just as repulsive as saying victims of a crime always deserve the fate that befall them. I await George's justification of this code of ethics.
(Edited by John Armaos
on 6/05, 3:07pm)




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Post 42

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 3:09pmSanction this postReply
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Joe, #36 is fine with me, so long as people read all the posts above it.

And, I find myself at a loss for the exact words, but I "apologize" (if one can say it) to Hong for having assumed she considered herself an Objectivist, and hence having taken her arguments seriously. Had the same arguments been made in dissent I would not have been so aggressive in my follow-up. I feel like I backed a pretty but capricious wild pup into a corner, only to get bitten, finding out it was a wolf cub all along. I mean no insult by saying this. I simply wish to make my own motivations and frustrations in challenging her here and elsewhere clear.

As for who sanctioned #36? I find I get a lot more sanctions for smack-downs I deliver than for what I see as more valuable contributions like my reviews and suggested reading. (For this reason, I did not sanction, but do thank you for your above defense of me.) The fact that the sanctioner doesn't care to publicly back up the assertions with objective argument speaks for itself.

I don't see any feasible way to implement it, but I almost wish there were two types of sanction, the first for mere agreement, the second to express appreciation for the poster's effort, if not actual agreement with the post's conclusion. I tend to sanction a lot of people who simply put some effort into expressing themselves or providing links and information, even if I think they have drawn a bad conclusion. I can both sanction and respond with criticism. It's never hurt me, and I think everyone should try it.

Ted





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Post 43

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 3:22pmSanction this postReply
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Are ye saying, John, that evil is NOT impotent? that the 'Sanction of the Victim' is a mere canard?



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Post 44

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 4:24pmSanction this postReply
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I said,
"It is way too simplistic to say that at that particular historic moment, that one side was moral and the other was immoral."

And Joe deduced:
"Turns out that this is not too simplistic at all. The facts were clear and available even then. One side was moral and one was immoral."

When two parties were locked in a mortal struggle, the immorality of one side does not guarantee that the other is moral.

Look at the real situations more carefully. In 1917 Russia, which side was clearly moral? Which choices were there for a common Russian? The Tsar? the ineffective provisional government? or the national network of local Soviets?

Or look at the situation in China in 1946-49. Was Jiang's Nationalist government "moral"? It was so deteriorated with corruption and inflation, many people, including some bright young intellectuals from cities, were not sorry to see it go.   






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Post 45

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 4:43pmSanction this postReply
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George Cordero wrote:
Ultimately, a people always get the type of government they deserve.
George's code of ethics is, obviously, that one's ultimate fate depends on his own action (or inaction), not on his allies or any others.




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Post 46

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 4:58pmSanction this postReply
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So of course one could similarly say Hong the fate of a rape victim overpowered by the assailant is ultimately a result of that victim's action or inaction, and not on his/her fellow citizens who are standing idly by doing nothing to help.

Yes, I would call this kind of ethics depraved indifference.



Post 47

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 5:03pmSanction this postReply
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John,
What is "the fate of a rape victim"?




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Post 48

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 6:03pmSanction this postReply
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Hong, are you changing your argument now? Instead of arguing that we couldn't know the North was evil, you now want to try to argue that we can't know the South wouldn't have been just as evil? I'm now finding myself in agreement with Ted that your main thrust is to proclaim moral equivalence. And I find the suggestion, as John posted in #9 above, "utterly ridiculous". The only end this argument could serve is to rationalize all violence in the world by suggesting that if they hadn't done it, someone else would.

Ted, I'm glad you're rising above her behavior, but while you may be okay with Hong's insulting post, I am not.

Robert Malcom, your statement makes no sense to me. Maybe you can define "sanction of the victim" and how it applies to a country who's citizens are terrorized by their government, and even a word of disagreement is responded to with death to everyone they know and love. Is every case of extortion a case of "sanction of the victim"? If I give a mugger my wallet instead of getting me and my friends killed, am I "sanctioning" his actions? Please clarify.



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Post 49

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 6:09pmSanction this postReply
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Oh yeah, and Hong, the statement you made was in the context of North and South Vietnam. Your attempt to reframe your statement to be about Russia or China did not go unnoticed. Nor did your suggestion that whenever there is an immoral side, the other side is automatically moral.



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Post 50

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 6:55pmSanction this postReply
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Since I lived thru that time, and my then wife and I sponsored a couple of them, will merely say that those of the South Vietnam who did see the end coming, and who would not sanction the 'new order'  - they left, as boat people, from the mad dogs which were those of the North... those who stayed were largely those who presumed things would be as they had before, just different masters, despite all cries to the contrary [and yes, say this as from those who left telling me this], and as such sanctioned the 'new order' and became the victims getting  the consequences of their inactions....  while those who left, while intitially losing all but the shirts on their backs, ended up gaining immensely where they were appreciated, by not sanctioning and thus not becoming the victims..  in many ways, like it or not, have to say George is correct - people tend to get the government they deserve....



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Post 51

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 7:19pmSanction this postReply
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Exactly what they deserved?








Elian Gozalez, Courtesy of Bill Clinton
Khmer Rouge, Courtesy Democratic Congress
Berlin Wall, Courtesy FDR's Yalta Accords
Ukranian Famine, Courtesy Useful Idiots



Michael Moore, free, alive & rich, Courtesy:

US Military Battle Deaths (from www.americanfamilytraditions.com)

Revolutionary War...........4,435
War of 1812......................2,260
Civil War (Both Sides) 191,963
World War I....................53,402
World War II.................291,557
Korean Conflict...............33,741
Vietnam Conflict.............47,424

Ted Keer

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 6/05, 10:55pm)




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Post 52

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 10:01pmSanction this postReply
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Robert Malcolm said

"while those who left, while intitially losing all but the shirts on their backs, ended up gaining immensely where they were appreciated, by not sanctioning and thus not becoming the victims."


Mr. Malcolm, of the estimated 1.5 million Vietnamese Refugees, 'Boat People' best estimates suggest that 500,000 of them drowned at sea. In one single incident the navy of Thailand blockaded a fleet of refugees and in that incident alone it is thought some 50,000 drowned at sea almost as many as the number of Americans who died in the entire war Many nations simply collected these refugees and handed them right over to the murderous communist North Vietnamese government.

Exactly how bad must an oppressive government be before you risk the life and limb of yourself and everyone in love for a 1/3rd chance of drowning at sea, and a 2/3rds chance of being miserably poor in another country?

You and George can flout your pretentious 'every man chooses the nation which rules him' crap easily when you have never had to stare down the barrel of a T-72 or had to choose between the chance at a better life somewhere else and weighed that against how likely whatever shit bag dictator armed by the Soviet Union would kill you.





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Post 53

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 10:16pmSanction this postReply
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Joe said:  "Nor did your suggestion [go unnoticed] that whenever there is an immoral side, the other side is automatically moral."
 
But Hong said:  "When two parties were locked in a mortal struggle, the immorality of one side does not guarantee that the other is moral."
 
...Isn't that the exact opposite?




Post 54

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 10:38pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, Ben.

And Hong also quoted Jane Austen:

"Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked."

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 6/05, 11:02pm)




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Post 55

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 1:51amSanction this postReply
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Ben, I agree that she seemed to be arguing it.  But I could only describe it as "her suggestion" because she was the one (and only one) who presented the idea.  Nobody else claimed that the immorality of one side guarantees the morality of another.  I acknowledged her attempt to put words in my mouth, but didn't feel the need to argue.

Robert, I actually asked for you to define "sanction of the victim".  I also asked for some specific applications, one you define it.  Given your previous statement, it seems that anyone who is victimized by someone else is "sanctioning the victim", since evil is impotent.  I can't understand at all what this phrase means if this is the case.

Also, George said "Ultimately, a people always get the type of government they deserve." [emphasis mine]

Your twist, that they "tend" to, is a completely different statement.  You can then say that in most countries, most of the people get the government they deserve.  Or maybe it doesn't even need to be a majority.  "Tend to" could mean it happens pretty often.  Not an incredibly informative statement.  It's also not useful, except as a weaker form of George's statement.  And George's statement is only useful to excuse every monstrous act by a government on its own people by assign the victims moral guilt.  While a weaker form of that position is more desirable than the strong version, it's still unjust.




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Post 56

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 7:00amSanction this postReply
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Robert, I actually asked for you to define "sanction of the victim".  I also asked for some specific applications, one you define it.  Given your previous statement, it seems that anyone who is victimized by someone else is "sanctioning the victim", since evil is impotent.  I can't understand at all what this phrase means if this is the case.

I had raised to John the question because this is supposedly a basic tenent of Objectivism - yet it seems as if the usual view is being espressed that evil is indeed potent, anf therefore that Rand is wrong... why ask me to define 'the sanction of the victim' ? hadn't Rand defined it? if it makes no sense to you, those words, then there is a crucial Objectivist view [or Rand view if ye prefer] that you very much disagree with - you can't have it both ways....... and if they indeed make no sense to you, then there is something Rand said which you then  do not understand, whether or not agree to  - and as such need to understand - before making further comments on it...  that was what was being asked of John....

as for George's controvercial statement - speaking in terms of groups, not the individuals within, he is correct - freedom comes to those who understand and seek it, and if as a group it is the minority within who so understand, then as a group, they do NOT - and thus get the government they accept....  while, in general, I agree with this, I added 'tend' precisely because am not yet sure if is a 'hard and fast' rule, tho for sure in tendencies, it remains true....  when, as South Vietnam was, a somewhat individualist group amidst a vast area of tribalism of one sort or another, competing gangs all devoted to subserving all, there was indeed a   fragility of surviving, for those especially who did understand freedom, and yes, many did not make it out, even on boats, for the tribal hatrids extended beyond their own borders...




Post 57

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 7:16amSanction this postReply
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There is another, related, thing involved here... there is no denying that some thugs can and do overpower their victim... this in no way, however, implies the victim sanction it, especially if the victim tried to defend self....  life, like it or not, is not a guarantee - events to the individual can and to take place which are inimical to its well-being....  and there are 'mad dogs' among humans as well as in the rest of the animal world...  but - tho there may be mad dogs over in Kansas, it does not necessitate Texans coming to seek to wipe them out...  contain them, yes, aid those seeking out of the area, yes..  but anything more would have to be at the value-judging of the individuals wanting to do that more, not dragging others in along with them...



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Post 58

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 8:24amSanction this postReply
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Robert Malcolm:

there may be mad dogs over in Kansas, it does not necessitate Texans coming to seek to wipe them out... contain them, yes, aid those seeking out of the area, yes.. but anything more would have to be at the value-judging of the individuals wanting to do that more, not dragging others in along with them..


Please help me understand this statement Robert. In today's United States we live under a federal system. If Kansas does not have the resources available to stop the "mad dogs" as you put it, others (FBI, ATF, etc) from various parts of the country come to aid Kansas and not just by containing the mad dogs but by either killing or capturing them. These individuals who work for these federal agencies were not forced to go to Kansas nor were they forced to join the agencies they work for. They willingly accepted a position to help others from having their rights violated. Now there are times when one must choose containment and help others escape, yes I can understand that especially during the cold war as I said in another post the benefits do not outweigh the costs in a direct confrontation in these circumstances. The same can be applied to a hostage situation a police department is faced with, going in with guns blazing first without assessing the situation and taking risk management into account is not prudent. But then there comes a time when one must attack and advance into the house, or village, or state or country. How long can one run away from evil? To flee from it and abandon all that one has built around them to be taken by evil? There are times Robert when one must draw a line in the sand and say no further! You will not take my village without a fight from me! Nor does evil make any guarantees it will not pursue you should you decide to run away.

But according to this, you would advocate each state fend for itself if faced with overwhelming numbers of "mad dogs". So rather than united we stand, I guess divided we stand? By not helping to stop evil, are you not sanctioning the continuation of evil? Is that an Objectivist ideal?

If Kansas falls, so be it so long as the state I live in doesn't fall? During WW2 people from Texas were defending Hawaii after it was attacked, why do you suppose that is? And where do you draw the line of picking which territory to defend? What obligation do Houstonians have to help defend San Antonians? Or what obligation do south side Houstonians have to defend north side Houstonians? What obligation do the residents of Oak street Houston Texas have to help defend the residents of Maple street Houston Texas? Let everyone else fall around me so long as I'm far away still standing, watching as others are slaughtered? Sanctioning the very evil that one observes because one is sitting idly by doing nothing to stop that evil is not an Objectivist ideal.

Robert Malcolm said:

Since I lived thru that time, and my then wife and I sponsored a couple of them, will merely say that those of the South Vietnam who did see the end coming, and who would not sanction the 'new order' - they left, as boat people, from the mad dogs which were those of the North...while those who left, while intitially losing all but the shirts on their backs, ended up gaining immensely where they were appreciated, by not sanctioning and thus not becoming the victims."


To which Michael Dickey responded:

Mr. Malcolm, of the estimated 1.5 million Vietnamese Refugees, 'Boat People' best estimates suggest that 500,000 of them drowned at sea. In one single incident the navy of Thailand blockaded a fleet of refugees and in that incident alone it is thought some 50,000 drowned at sea almost as many as the number of Americans who died in the entire war. Many nations simply collected these refugees and handed them right over to the murderous communist North Vietnamese government.


Thank you Michael for pointing that out. As I read Malcolm's callous statement I immediately thought of the half million that drowned at sea trying to escape. What happened Robert did you have selective amnesia as you were living through that time?








Post 59

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 9:31amSanction this postReply
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Ben,
Thank you for pointing out how my statement is interpreted to its exact opposite. It happens so often in this thread, it's quite impossible for me to do anything.

Joe said "Nor did your suggestion that whenever there is an immoral side, the other side is automatically moral [go unnoticed]".

Like Ben, I am dumbfounded. Where did I ever suggest this? It is Joe who said: "The facts were clear and available even then. One side was moral and one was immoral." And I tried to refute it. What a mass.

As to the specific situation of North and South Vietnam, I said that I'd look into it. I had an notion that the South Vietnam government wasn't a popular one. And this more detailed wikipedia entry on Ho Chi-minh turns out to be quite enlightening.

In 1955, Ho Chi Minh became president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), a Communist-led single party state.

The 1954 Geneva Accords (which had not been signed by the United States or the State of Vietnam) had agreed to carry out a national election in 1956 to reunite Vietnam under one government. The government of South Vietnam, now under the leadership of Ngo Dinh Diem and supported by the United States, refused to hold the stipulated elections, noting that Ho had introduced a police state and refused to allow international observers, precluding a free election. Moreover, most contemporary observers estimated that were an election held in the 1954-55 period, around 80% of the Vietnamese population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh.[12] Even "President Eisenhower is widely quoted to the effect that in 1954 as many as 80% of the Vietnamese people would have voted for Ho Chi Minh, as the popular hero of their liberation, in an election against Bao Dai... [though] it is almost certain that by 1956 the proportion which might have voted for Ho--in a free election against Diem--would have been much smaller than 80%."[13] The point, however, was moot, since Diem had no intention of holding an election he did not believe he would win. Therefore the U. S. instead focused on nation building in South Vietnam as a bulwark against communism.
Make that what you will. I am done here.




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