Ayn Rand v. Spoiler Votes

Luckily the LP is not a religion, and has no doctrine of infallibility. What it does is put into practice a suggestion made by Ayn Rand in 1947:

For a practical definition, if men merely agree that no man or number of men have the right to initiate the use of force against any human being (and that includes the forcible seizure of his property), that they have no such right for any purpose whatsoever, at any time whatsoever—that would be all we need, that would achieve a perfect Utopia on earth, that would include all the moral code we need. (LOAR 366)

Did Ayn Rand understand how spoiler votes change laws? Apparently not. Never has she explained how the income tax moved from the Communist Manifesto to the 16th Amendment. In The Fountainhead Dominique clearly opposes Prohibition, but how did it move from the Prohibition Party platform to the 18th Amendment? When asked in 1972 about the Libertarian Party she replied:

I’d rather vote for Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, or Jerry Lewis—they’re not as funny as John Hospers and the Libertarian Party. If Hospers takes ten votes away from Nixon (which I doubt he’ll do), it would be a moral crime. … (George Wallace is no great thinker—he’s a demagogue, though with some courage—but even he had the sense to stay home this time.) If you want to spread your ideas, do it through education. But don’t run for president—or even dogcatcher—if you’re going to help McGovern. [FHF 72]

Rand’s vote-count error is reminiscent of the socialist “fixed pie” error Peikoff pointed out in a debate. Looters imagine there is only so much wealth, and that if you gain some, it is taken from someone else. Hospers and Nathan’s LP took nearly 4000 votes from parasitical competitors. The result was that the LP platform’s plank on overpopulation was copied almost verbatim into the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court. This stopped Texas and Wallace Dixiecrat states from reviving Comstock laws to again ban all birth control, including abortion. This individual right Ayn Rand defended in keeping with the 14th Amendment.

Nixon’s party, on the other hand, got the “message” that George Wallace’s racial collectivist supporters sent to Washington with their 1968 votes (46 of them electoral votes). The Republicans imported some of Wallace’s planks and rhetoric and again scooped up the Klan vote–as they had in 1928. At 67, Ayn can’t be blamed for not realizing on October 22 that Wallace–in 1972 the leading Democratic contender–“had the sense to stay home” because he was shot May 15. Ayn hardly noticed that Bobby Kennedy (whom she doubtless saw as another heir of the Nazi Papacy) was fatally shot June 6th. When the GOP allowed Goldwater to lose to LBJ, that was NOT the republican endorsement of Jewish values or repudiation of christian naziism the author of “The Fascist New Frontier” had struggled to imagine.

Ayn Rand, born in an autocratic empire turned communist dictatorship, lacked experience with democracy. Like teevee personalities, she saw votes as vectors for hiring politicians, NOT as policy instruments with which individuals directly change laws. The idea of spoiler votes moving policy–as the U.S. Liberal Party votes did when she was 25, or as communist votes changed the U.S. Constitution when she was 8, never occurred to her then, or to most libertarians today.  But the religious Prohibition Amendment and communist Income Tax Amendment were championed by parties that averaged under 3% of the vote.

So when a brilliant ethicist opines that “taking ten votes away” from a lying, superstitious, girl-bullying fascist looter the likes of Richard Nixon is “a moral crime”, one has to wonder if philosophy, like science, “advances one funeral at a time.”

Words you can dance to

Clarity isn’t oversimplification

Ayn Rand’s description of the Crash and Depression in Atlas Shrugged more closely resembles the historical record than prior theories. Republicans have managed to efface Clark Warburton’s “The Economic Results of Prohibition”.  Prohibition and the Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929, takes Warburton’s work one step further. Live on Amazon Kindle for the price of a pint.

Prohibition and The Crash, on Amazon Kindle

 

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Appeasing religious fanatics

 

Neville Chamberlain gave Europe a good lesson on the futility of Utilitarianism. But wait a minute… Isn’t Utilitarianism a good thing? The greatest good for the greatest number sure sounds democratic. Then again,   German Democratic Republic and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also sound democratic. Enter the Utilitarian Monster. 

The Utilitarian Monster lives in a Gedankenexperiment in which an evil monster in, say, a Zeppelin, arrives at the city gate and demands the sacrifice of one individual or else the entire town will be bombed. The City Fathers vote to sacrifice you, dear reader–BECAUSE THEY LOVE YOU! Yes, true Christian sacrifice is the surrender of that which you value more in exchange for what you value less. If they valued your egotistical selfishness, they would never have surrendered you. It is precisely because altruistic collectivism says you are innocent and good that your life gets crushed. Cowardice is preserved, and everyone is happy–happy, that is, until the Utilitarian Monster returns the following day with the same ultimatum. Yes, this is headed in the same direction as those chapters on sequences and series in math class… Everyone in a utilitarian village can be wiped out, one at a time, by bluffing.

But to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, mathematics was just theory. Peace was the important thing and sacrifice by appeasement was what everyone–the teachers, reverend clergy, government school philosophy and ethics teachers, Adolf Hitler–all said was good, right, socially benevolent. The ethics was settled, and it was time to put it into practice. Unfortunately, the Czechoslovakians were the ones being pushed onto the altar of altruism and sacrifice, and the experiment was real, not Gedanken.

Not everyone agreed with Hitler, of course. The one person who had the guts to speak out against the cowardly monstrosity–against the cringing sanction of the next victim–was a young woman born in 1909 who worked in Hollywood. Her name was Carmen Miranda and she wrote a samba describing Europe’s capitulation to militant German National Socialist religious conservatism. The 1938 samba is titled “Salada Mista.”

Conservatives hate Carmen Miranda and Mae West for pretty much the same reason. Conservative ideology hates freedom and worships superstition and coercion.

If you want to replace bad ethics and politics with something better, you might want to look into the Libertarian party.

Atlas Shrugged, 1943

franciscodanconia1943

Young Francisco D’Anconias

Surely you’re thinking “The Fountainhead,” I hear you wonder… but neither book was written in a day. The Fountainhead was indeed part of the war effort against National Socialist collectivism–including its religious component. Safely ensconced within These States, Ayn Rand, age 38, read in the newspapers about how in the Europe she’d fled, Germans and Russians fought, starved, bled and died–whether enslaved to sacrifice for Communism or enslaved to save German NSDAP Christianity from “stock market jewry.” (Does this sound familiar? Occupy Wall Street?)

As usual, These States got sucked into the vortex of that foreign war after the attack on Hawaii. Newspapers and radio were the internet of the 1930s and 1940s. In their pages young Ayn Rand read about Sweden’s fantastic new Harden metal alloy, shadowy Match Kings and Beer Barons. She read about young men whose ambition led them to hire on with railroad maintenance crews in 1943 nazimayors1946before maturing into Copper Barons able to rattle stock markets into a panic with a gesture.  This latter news item was framed in exhortations to buy war bonds, with air raid signals and instructions on the facing page. She also read of the Allied Military Government putting some Nazis back in power while hanging others for genocide as she was writing Atlas Shrugged.

The same thing is happening today. Christian National Socialism, motivated by altruism, now targets a different semitic people and religion–all the while angling to monopolize and control drug markets through the only mechanism it understands… war, coercion, murder.  Totalitarian communist territory has dwindled to Cuba, China, North Korea, Venezuela and a tiny scattering of pestilent dictatorships likewise limited to war, coercion, murder as ways of getting things done in the name of altruism. The ku-klux fascists‘ competition? Lay or Gaian socialists claiming to be democrats, likewise motivated by altruism–and guided by pseudoscience to rule by violence.

Christians and Gaians alike are terrified of imaginary hobgoblins. LSD-possessed Manson clan communists plot with Saracen terrorists to lead Christian youth away from Jesus and confiscate their money and guns, worry the former–with some justification as to the money. The Gaians’ nightmares are animated by Ku-klux mercantilist plutocrats advised by mad scientists and Hell-bent on turning the planet into a rotisserie,–with urine testing with licensing regulations so that only their toadies have jobs. Again, their fears as to urine-test blacklisting are not at all unfounded.

This is the Cold War all over again, with different actors–but always and on both sides the same altruism and reliance on faith as opposed to reliable evidence. The one constant is the belief that altruism is a good enough reason to have someone else pick up deadly weapons and coerce some third party. But… by what standard is altruism or the initiation of force good?

Boycott Wikipedia Panhandling

The Wikipedia has been a focus for infiltration by cranks with axes to grind, socialist orators, pseudoscientific panic-mongers, prohibitionists, looters, thieves and wannabee dictators. Donate money if you must, but please donate to a worthy cause. The Wikipedia is NOT that worthy cause.

I personally consider the Libertarian Party a worthy cause. For similar reasons I have thought of giving to the NRA, LEAP (policemen against Prohibition), Naral (pro-choice) and other causes to which I am sympathetic. But I conclude that none of them can possibly succeed if LP.org fails. I do on occasion turn a tiny contribution over to Project Gutenberg the way I’d pay library dues, but this has a lot  to do with a linguist’s profession and need for research material.

Resumo: não dê dinheiro para a Wikipédia. Foram infiltrados por hostes contrárias à liberdade humana e à honestidade (que chegam a ser a mesma coisa).