Selfishness - FOR
Yes, President Obama, Selfishness is a virtue, but Republicans are not proponents of it.
THE debate this country should be having right now.
Why is selfishness a virtue? Because an individual human being is an end in himself. To declare that individuals are the means to any other end - including the family - is to advocate slavery.
The alternative to self-sacrifice is not to sacrifice others to yourself, but to reject sacrifice altogether, recognizing that a non-sacrificial way of life is possible and practical in this reality.
Ayn Rand, The Virue of Selfishness
Rob Abiera, "Tea Parties and Selfishness"
Capitalism - FOR
Capitalism is right because an individual human being is an end in himself. All other benefits and justifications of Capitalism - including freedom from the initiation of force - derive from this and are, therefore, secondary.
A man's mind is his property. The government has no more business interfering with the way a man runs his business than it does interfering with the way he practices his religion.
No one disputes the economic case for Capitalism. It has been proved many times over. Those who object to it do so on moral grounds: Capitalism rewards Reason and Selfishness, which are the opposite of conventional morality, which demands Selflessness and Sacrifice. Since the Self is the mind, giving up the Self requires giving up Reason. Since Reason is Man's means of survival, giving up Reason means self-destruction. Altruism is the reason why some people will evade, ignore, lie and fake the truth about Capitalism. This is why the battle for Capitalism is not primarily economic or political but moral.
The battle for Capitalism is not a political battle, it is not an economic battle or a practical battle. The battle for Capitalism is a moral battle. It can only be won, and therefore must be fought, on moral grounds. The defenders of Capitalism must uphold and defend it by upholding Individualism - on the basis of rational egoism - as a moral ideal. We must not allow our enemies to set the terms of battle and we must not give them our sanction by giving them the benefit of the doubt. We must be willing to publicly and openly proclaim that altruism is evil, along with anyone and everyone who supports or condones it, and that any morality other than Individualism is incompatible with Capitalism. We must proclaim that it is Capitalism that makes Human life possible, by making it possible for Human Beings to live their lives as Human Beings: by granting them the freedom to think - that is, to use their Reason - by granting them the freedom to put their thoughts into action in actual reality, which is the only thing that makes thinking - Reason - worthwhile.
- Rob Abiera, June 29, 2000
Since Capitalism requires Freedom, and Alan Greenspan spent his time at the head of the Federal Reserve acting as - essentially - this country's economic dictator, how can he be said to have represented Capitalism?
Capitalism is not corporate welfare, nor any kind of welfare.
Nor is it compatible with theocracy. Free markets require freedom of conscience. Opponents and critics of Capitalism who claim it is only supported by the religious right simply don't know what they're talking about.
When government has control over businesses while maintaining the illusion of private property, that is fascism, not Capitalism.
There is no such thing as a free market anywhere in the world today, and there never has been. No economic problem can be blamed on freedom. Genuine, consistent, laissez-faire Capitalism remains untried.
Conservatives are not Capitalists, as neoconservatism amply demostrates. I am not a conservative.
The fact that religious conservatives are willing to use government force to impose their religious values on others proves that they are not Capitalists. Genuine laissez-faire Capitalism would require religions to compete with each other on a free and open market. It would forbid any kind of favoritism shown to any religion over any other. This would necessarily include any kind of government promotion of religion. In this manner, laissez-faire Capitalism provides a free and open market for Values.
Productivity does NOT automatically require dishonesty.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Andrew Bernstein, The Capitalist Manifesto
Rights - FOR
Rights are a society's recognition of the fact that an individual human being is an end in himself.
Groups have no rights. Majorities have no rights. Minorities have no rights. States have no rights. Corporations have no rights. Fetuses have no rights. Only individuals - actual, individual human beings - have rights.
The right to life is the source of all rights, and property rights are its chief protector.
When referring to the "right to life" it is important to bear in mind that the right to life applies only to actual, individual human beings.
Rights pertain to freedom of action among individual human beings in a social setting. A person alone on a desert island would have no need of rights.
Governments cannot grant rights. Rights are inherent in human nature, and, as such, are absolute. There are only two basic actions governments can take regarding rights: recognize them, or take them away. Uphold them or suppress them. And the only way to suppress rights is to violate them. The way to uphold them, of course, is to defend and protect them. This is the central issue of government, NOT the initiation of force, which is derivative: the only way to violate rights is to initiate force.
The key to upholding rights - and thus to establishing the proper form of government - is to identify them. To identify rights one must identify human nature.
Human beings use reason to survive. In order to survive, an individual must be free to apply his own rationality to the problems of his own survival.
Rights DO NOT come from God. Nor do they come from "society". They come from the objective requirements of human survival wherever human beings live together.
There are two basic facts which give rise to rights:
- Human beings survive by means of Reason.
- An individual human being is an end in himself.
Any attempt to justify rights on any other basis will destroy them rather than uphold them.
Rights must never be subjected to a majority vote.
Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights"
Abortion - FOR
A woman's moral right to have an abortion is absolute.
A fetus is NOT a person. A pregnant woman IS a person.
How can those who claim to hold property rights so dear fail to uphold a woman's right to her body? A woman's body is her property. It belongs to her and her alone, not God, not society, not the state, not the father, not a fetus.
If a fetus has rights, surely this has to mean that a fetus has property rights over the body of the woman carrying it. To assert that a fetus claims all rights to its mother's body at the moment of conception is clearly absurd.
Do fetuses have authority to assert eminent domain?
A fetus is part of a woman's body.
If only individuals can have rights, and a fetus is physically part of its mother's body, how, then, can it be said that a fetus can have rights?
Personhood - AGAINST
In a post on PewSitter.com, Maryland Delegate Don H. Dwyer, Jr. is quoted as saying: "There is no doubt today that there is a human being in the womb and that human being should be considered a person."
"I believe that as we approach nearly 40 years since the court ruled on Roe v. Wade, we must once again open the public debate to review when each human being's life begins."
My response to Delegate Dwyer: Life may begin at conception, but that does not answer the question: when does human life begin? If human beings are individuals, human life can only be said to begin at the moment when the umbilical cord is cut. Only then does a fetus become a completely physically-independent entity. If a person is an individual, only at birth does a fetus become a person. Only then does a potential human being become an actual human being.
Ayn Rand, "Of Living Death"
Leonard Peikoff, "Abortion Rights are Pro-Life"
Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh, "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person"
Property Rights - FOR
If one's life is one's property, then the right to life is a property right.
Intellectual property rights actually exist because a man's mind is his property. They recognize the fact that new ideas are created by the actual effort of specific individuals. Intellectual labor is every bit as real as physical labor.
Eminent Domain - AGAINST
The power of eminent domain has grown into one of the greatest threats to property rights there is. It has no legitimate use and has come to be exploited more often than not as a tool of corporate welfare. It should be abolished.
Brian Phillips, ""Practical" Arguments for Property Rights"
Corporate welfare - AGAINST
Corporate welfare is not Capitalism. It is the rejection of Capitalism.
Taxes should not be used to support those who do not want to risk their own wealth.
Corporate welfare always involves political favoritism. Such favoritism is one means by which government can control business while maintaining the illusion of private ownership.
Corporate welfare is a hallmark of fascism.
Sean Paige, "Risky Business", "Risky Business, Part 2"
Rob Abiera, "Bricktown Bass Pro"
Homosexuality - FOR
Is it moral to enjoy being a homosexual? Yes, it is. Homosexuality is not chosen, and that which is beyond choice is outside the realm of morality. It is moral to enjoy being a homosexual because every individual human being - straight, Gay or otherwise - is an end in himself. And because every human being is an end in himself, the decision to celebrate oneself in the act of sex - including sex between two individuals of the same gender - is eminently moral.
Religion - AGAINST
Faith is, in Ayn Rand's words, "not a short-cut to knowledge but a short-circuit destroying the mind."
Many people seem to equate faith with confidence. They will often say they "have faith in" something in a way that clearly indicates that what they mean is that they "have confidence in" that thing.
But faith is the opposite of certainty. It is not the acceptance of the facts of reality, but the rejection of them: "It is to be believed because it is absurd."
People are attracted to religion because they think faith can lead to confidence, thus allowing them to bypass certainty. They desire confidence because is it a hallmark of successful functioning. In today's philosophical vacuum, people are taught that the only rational alternative to religion is the perpetual doubt of skepticism. But a commitment to facts does not lead to skepticism, it leads to certainty, which is the true foundation of confidence.
Certainty is the means by which confidence is earned.
Religion is in no way compatible with science. Faith requires the rejection of facts.
Religion is in no way compatible with Capitalism. Free markets require freedom of conscience. More importantly, they require individuals to be ends in themselves.
Those who decry political favoritism to grant corporate welfare while demanding political favoritism to grant welfare to their religion are hypocrites.
Original Sin - AGAINST
If Original Sin means that all human beings are monsters by definition, what does that make us?
If being human is monstrous, then it is the thing that makes us human which is monstrous. And the distinctive attribute which sets human beings apart from all other animals is Reason. Therefore it is Reason that is Man's Original Sin. It is Reason that makes human beings monsters. And since human beings survive by means of reason that means human beings survive by being monsters. Since Reason leads to self-reliance, and independence tends to inspire even greater rationality, it is Reason which must be suppressed in order to control human beings. What a subtle instrument of power, then, is Original Sin.
This, of course, is perversion. There is nothing objectively monstrous about Reason: far from destroying life, it is Reason that makes Human life possible. Far from being the root of all evil, Reason is, in fact, the source of all good.
It is ideas such as Original Sin which enable me to understand just how completely Christianity was able to subvert Western Civilization: civilization which was able to spread because the Romans exploited the rationality of the Greeks. The founders of Christianity demonized the Greek ideas of Reason and confidence, and when Rome adopted Christianity as its state religion, it sealed its doom. Knowledge fled from Rome, a once mighty metropolis shrank to little more than a village, and the Dark Ages came to Western Civilization.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged: "This is John Galt speaking"
Reason - FOR
Man's need for morality comes, not from God, nor from Man's genes, but from Man's nature. It is the fact that human beings rely on Reason for their survival that gives rise to Man's need for morality.
Reality is real and we have to live in it. The purpose of morality is to enable us to do that. The moral is the chosen. Where there is no choice there can be no morality. Moral principles are not given. To be properly used they must in a very real sense be discovered by the person who wants to use them. A person must discover what facts of reality give rise to a principle in order to understand how to apply that principle to the facts of his own life. The most anyone else can do is point you in the right direction. No one can do your understanding for you. This is why Ayn Rand said the moral is the understood, not the obeyed.
Morality arose precisely because Man is not hard-wired with a set of automatic reactions to the possibilities of life the way the lower animals are. Man can survive only by using his mind to discover how to respond to reality in the way that supports his life, rather than destroys it. It is the fact that Man possesses the faculty of choice that enables us to take what Nature gives us and transform it into something completely new and even multiply beyond anything Nature by itself could possibly provide. Choice is Man's glory and his responsibility. This is why it is every Human Being's responsibility to use his mind to make his own choices for himself. In a very real sense, every human being must reinvent the wheel of morality. If "life" is the standard, your life must be your standard.
The person who looks to "law givers" to make his choices for him has defaulted on the responsibility of being Human.
- Excerpt from my letter to the Oklahoma Gazette, January, 2000
It is Reason that gives meaning to human emotion - NOT vice versa.
Democracy - AGAINST
The United States of America is not a democracy: it is a republic based on individual rights.
Democracy is unlimited majority rule. Where there is democracy, there are no rights. Under a democracy, anything and everything is subject to majority whim - as Socrates famously discovered at the cost of his own life.
Welfare reform (FOR) and faith-based initiatives (AGAINST)
It is possible to be for welfare reform while being against faith-based initiatives. Anyone who claims that all supporters of welfare reform are also supporters of faith-based initiatives simply doesn't know what they are talking about.
Contents © 2009 by Rob Abiera.