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Sunday, November 20 - 10:25amSanction this postReply
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If only we could somehow corral them all like this.



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Sunday, November 20 - 10:53amSanction this postReply
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That's hillarious!  Creating a bubble that would hold all the die-hard progressives is one Infrastructure project I'd support :-)



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Monday, November 28 - 4:14amSanction this postReply
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In fact, it is a pretty good parody of the "Galt's Gulch" ideal as expressed by today's admirers of the works of Ayn Rand. Remember that in the story, the Valley began only as a vacation spot.  When quitting became illegal, the capitalists needed a hideout.  As things got even worse, the Valley became a refuge. One thread not followed was that the capitalists in the Valley were a diverse lot who disagreed on much, not the least of which was Ragnar's piracy. The greatest composer of the age was the happy neighbor of a man who was tone deaf.  They only agreed on the non-initiation of force.  This has been transmogrified into a desire to live among people who agree with you on matters of art, architecture, and music, as well as politics and economics, to say nothing of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

 

(By a happy error, Luke's link on the Electoral College actually took us to an article about Constantinople, here: http://www.delanceyplace.com/view-archives.php?p=3212.  In a culture defined by religion, the city held large religious minorities. Constantinople thrived as a center of trade and commerce. However (and more to the point), the scientific revolution of the Age of Reason came not from any one place, but from diversity across a wide geography, eventually spreading beyond Europe to America.  An isolated society of London Newtonians would only have imploded, as in fact, physics nearly did in England, when they cast themselves intellectually free from the Continent.)

 

I posit a theorem of sociology that no successful society is monolithic.

 

That leaves unaswered the basic problem set of how to (1) create (2) protect and (3) nurture an open and diverse society?  I have some observations and conclusions, but no easy answer.  I do assert that walling yourself in is not the way to do it. 



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Monday, November 28 - 8:32amSanction this postReply
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I do assert that walling yourself in is not the way to do it. 

 

You strayed from the point just a bit.  In Galt's Gulch they were making themselves safe from the initiation of force, the bubble-people are trying to separate themselves ideas they don't like, and they are unhappy they can't initiate the force needed to control everyone else.  I would assert that walling a separation FROM VIOLENCE is just fine.  We put locks on our door, and we put walls up to keep criminals behind bars.  The question is, "What are you separating with a wall?"  The progressives want to shut out ideas that disagree with theirs.  Objectivists want to shut out the violation of individual rights.



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Monday, November 28 - 9:52amSanction this postReply
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I think I see where MEM is going with this.  A "voluntary" community of like-minded persons who attempt to shut "undesirables" from their midst runs the risk of stagnation and blind spots.  This was reportedly happening at the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) which motivated David Kelley and his associates to form what is now The Atlas Society (TAS).  In my opinion, TAS swung too far the other way and lost its identity as an Objectivist organization in the process.  Both organizations have changed greatly since their respective inceptions.  Similar events have transpired with other organizations over many years.

 

I have no easy answers beyond the recommendation that any healthy, functional society must adhere to the non-aggression principle as a central guiding feature for all conduct.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 11/28, 9:56am)



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Monday, November 28 - 12:03pmSanction this postReply
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Luke, I don't disagree with your point. 

 

With MEM I objected to the comparison between progressives (in that satire) who used a wall to stop diversity of thought and Galt's Gulch where the wall was to keep out the looters.  A wall has to be based upon property rights and to protect individual rights.

 

The issues with ARI and TAS (and all other organizations organized around some set of principles) is about which particular principles the organization considers beyond compromise... (and there is some context - like the purpose of the organization).  For examples, look at RoR which finds some principles require limiting a person to 'dissent' or expelling them, and the GOP which doesn't seem to have a clear cut set of princples, and the Democrat party which has been occupied by those with progressive principles, but now is unhappy that they aren't popular.  There is often a lot of confusion as to how to draw the line that separates acceptable from unacceptable but it is the nature of organizations.

 

If you talk about society as a whole (as MEM did), then the "wall" should be the application of a set of objective laws defining the protection of individual rights.  That context arises out of the purpose of government and the geographical area bounded by those laws.  MEM wasn't very specific about what "open" or "diverse" would mean, or would require inorder to exist.  

 

I would posit that in a society living under objective laws based upon individual rights (and given a large enough population) there would always be a dynamic, ever-changing variety of voluntary organizations and they would be very diverse intellectually and over time would evolve towards benefiting man (social evolution if in a free society).  In a free society, communists can organize (as long as they don't use force), but that isn't a form of intellectual diversity that would make positive contributions.



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Sunday, December 25 - 3:06pmSanction this postReply
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Thinking about this over the past month, I wrote a blog post for NecessaryFacts, "Against Gulching."

 

It is easy to summarize by taking out two paragraphs.

So, it is ironic that the philosophers of the Ayn Rand Institute who do not speak to the philosophers of the Atlas Society probably buy their gasoline from Muslims and get their cars fixed by Christians and find great bargains at big box stores owned by Democrats all the while running Windows software on their computers.

 

The fact is that civilization is, literally, city life. Historically, people from disparate tribes left (and still leave) their homes to come to the places where strangers benefit themselves by exchanging value for value, whether or not they agree on any other fact, claim, or belief. 

 

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 12/25, 3:06pm)



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