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Contradiction

May 9, 2008

There are some people who easily make judgment, thinking they’ve completely understood their idea and thoroughly checked their ‘premise.’ I believe so because I’m talking directly from my own past
experiences. I was like them before. I often criticized some book authors and even newspaper columnists after reading
some excerpts of their works. I was wrong. Now I’ve learned that before one could lay down his own judgment, he should exert some effort first to know better the works of others.

That, I think, is the attitude of a responsible scholar, or a student of the school we call life. I would like to share the story of a good friend nicknamed Duncan who exerted some efforts to exchange ideas with me here on wordpress. Really, I appreciated his patience for sparing his time to a simple blogger like me. Duncan and I had this emotional and serious discussion about one of the many writings of Ayn Rand I published on Ideological Soup’ titled “Ayn Rand New Order of Tomorrow.” Our series of discussions started with a comment. Duncan said in his comment: “There is a camp of folk, in this world, that not only think that capitalism is the best means to an end, they believe that it’s a system that can take the planet forward.” He went on to say: “They worry about sacrifice to a bigger faceless goal, they concern themselves with “inalienable” rights, handed down to us “humans” from some place or another. They dream of an unregulated capitalist society where everyone has the “right” to pursue happiness as they see fit, and own property etc.”


Based on the foregoing, Duncan’s ideological inclination is deeply hinged on Karl Marx’s Communism that advocates for revolution, which, according to marxists, is the only way to attain what they call equality of, by, and
for the proletarians. Well, I believe that everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion. But like what I’ve said in my previous article about the Return of Nazism, there are some dangerous ideologies masquerading as advocates for reason. In that article I said that “Ideology can be very dangerous, although this fact may be unknown to many, if it’s designed to control the mind of a multitude with the intention to transform the latter into an unwitting and stupid collective block, either to gain power or to maintain the status quo with the intention to build up political, economic and military dominance.”


In regard to communism, I have made a strong statement that “I’m against totalitarianism and communism.” In my blog titled ‘Individualism over Collectivism’, I have made the following
statement: “I’m against collectivism and any ideology that seek to subjugate individuals to an absurd collective whose aim is to abolish individual rights and freedoms for the sake of what their proponents
claim as the “common good.”


This is so because today, “there are lots of political ideologies and philosophies that continue to confuse the people. We have various “isms” that advocate the goals and visions of their respective
creators.”


In one of my replies to Duncan, I called him “confused” and not really consistent with his statements. By confusion or contradiction is meant there are inconsistencies in his ideas that he’s not really aware of. By confusion is not meant simple confusion. By contradiction is not meant simple contradiction as well. Duncan insisted he’s not confused and even challenged me to show the inconsistencies in his ideas. The confusion is not simple and cannot be seen directly on the face of his article. The contradiction I am talking about is not directly manifested by the texts of his comments.


Thus, to Duncan— the contradiction in your comments is NOT textual but ideological. This is the reason why I said you’re confused, because the idea carried by the texts of your reply is littered with
so many contradictions. I was like you before, when I still thought my old ideology was the gospel of reason that must be taken by rational human beings. I was mistaken. I was confused, and most of my ideas were full of contradictions that I myself even failed to understand or decipher. It is ideological, but the flaws have been deeply entrenched in the nucleus of the ideology of yours that is effectively defeating your capacity to think rationally. I have made a correct conclusion that Duncan never read the rest of my
blogs and some of the books of Ayn Rand. He replied by saying “I don’t have time for her idealist nonsense. I have better things to do with my time, like live in the real world.”

My answer is how come you think you’re really right? I can’t imagine myself exchanging ideas with someone who is just basing his “conclusive opinion” on the excerpts of Ayn Rand’s works. It’s like debating with someone who has a very limited view of a particular issue like say, individualism versus collectivism. That is one contradiction itself. How can someone claim he’s got the most rational ideology on earth if he dogmatically refused to understand the ideas of other writers or intellectuals (I’m not referring to the intellectuals created by superstructures)?


Despite my disappointment, still I would like to answer Duncan. He said that there are people (obviously I and Ayn Rand are one of them) who “concern themselves with “inalienable” rights, handed down to us “humans” from some place or another.” He added by saying “They dream of an unregulated capitalist society where everyone has the “right” to pursue happiness as they see fit, and own property etc.”


The basis of Duncan’s premise is this very debatable statement— “The very idea of “rights” implies a society that is incapable of thought.”


Ayn Rand’s idea is not centered on the rights of every individual. That is also mine. To me, individual rights are the natural rights of man— that man has the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Duncan argument is this— “For “rights” to be granted, there has to be a controlling entity to do the granting and there has to be something that needs “protecting”.” Such a statement is totally misplaced. My belief is that rights are never to be granted, since rights are innate, natural, and god-given to man. To answer this, it is important to go back to the history of mankind, which Duncan strongly disagreed because he believes it’s not necessary to learn something about history.


In fact Duncan even said “I don’t.” he said: “I don’t study the past, I like to look forward.” That is another contradiction. To understand the present one must understand the past. To anticipate the future, one must also understand the present. In summary, Duncan’s idea is the following:
1. That the idea of rights implies that society is incapable of thought.
2. That everybody is part of the collective.
3. That no one is an island.
4. That “laws” is, by the same token, an indicator that the society is
broken in some measure.
5. That Duncan and his ilk like to live.


Duncan said that rights do not have to be granted. In fact he even believes that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is centered on “granted rights”, which is totally wrong. I agree with him, but not in evaluation. In the entire history of man, the only country that “recognizes” individual rights is the United States of America, but it seems that the superpower nation is now sliding back to the dogs. Thus, the right word is not grant but recognize. It is recognition of individual rights because since the earliest civilization on earth, man’s rights were an unknown species despite the fact that some philosophers like Aristotle and John Locke gave so much insight about man and his rights.


The pharaohs of Egypt based their rule on the ruler’s absolute power— that the pharaohs had the right to kill their subjects if they wished to. Their power is based on mysticism, on the gods and the goddesses in that the rulers were considered children of Isis and Osiris.


The Caesars of the Roman Empire based their tremendous power on absolute rule. That they had the power and all rights to sacrifice their people to satisfy the ruler or for the glory of Rome. Then came the many empires in Europe that ruled with the blessing of the blood-thirsty Roman Catholic Church, which was another long era of mysticism. Many empires ruled using both force and faith. In fact several murderous Popes of the Catholic Church even sent the children of Europe to kill Muslims in Jerusalem on the guise of what they called the Holy Crusade. Then came the empires of the last century like Communist Russia, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Great Britain, and the Chrysanthemum Empire of Japan.


The rule of Russia’s communism was based on equality and the common good. That the greater good of the society is the paramount law. For the good of the country, every able men and women may be sent to war. This means there is no such thing as individual rights because the common good of the society is the sole determinant of all laws and rights. But the question is, who is the society, or who form the society? Is it not the individual men who have individual opinion, belief, whims, caprices, and prejudices?

Duncan, I’m sorry to say this, but you are one of the many people who would like to live but do
not know how. You believe you have the right to have a job, to live a better life, not to be oppressed by other people or even the government, etc., but you yourself and your wishes are effectively contradicted by the ideology you strongly believe in. When you said I’m part of the society and that no man is an island, Duncan, that doesn’t mean I wanted to live a hermit-like life. Individualism doesn’t mean isolation. It means you respect the existence and rights of others like the way you respect and protect yours. We only live once, Duncan, and we die once. What is there to live for when all rights and laws were already uprooted by one powerful collective block for what it deemed as the common good? You believe that society is capable of thought, is it? No, the idea of society is a big myth. Some people use the concept of society to enslave, sacrifice, control, and silence “man.” I know, Duncan, whoever you are, you are just one of the many people who really think they hold the right ideology or philosophy on earth. Their intention is good, but they are unaware that theirs is the ideology of death.

Their is the ideology or philosophy of death because while they believe they have the right to live and to exist, the very foundation upon which their ideology lies is the sacrifice of “man” to society. You may not know this, Duncan. You may shout to the world that this is not really the foundation of whatever ideology or philosophy to deeply believe in, but I tell you, you are unwittingly another “brick in the wall” of the kind of “society” you have deeply associated yourself.

That’s why I urge you to check your premise, to understand well the foundation upon which your idea in life is acutely based. Try to understand the premise of your ideology, where it leads to, and what its purpose is.

You rebuke Ayn Rand for being concerned with individual rights. I would like to tell you that the idea of individual rights is just the consequence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Duncan, again, you are one of the countless of human beings who deeply love the gift of life and yet refuse to understand life’s essential attributes. How you can say you wanted to live if you’re not concerned with you individual right? The man who preaches life but disregards the concept of man’s rights is actually preaching the gospel of death. The man who preaches that society is capable of thought and is actually more important than a single human being is actually preaching the gospel of self-sacrifice.

For the common good and national security, George Bush and his stupid Congress— Hillary and Obama are two of them— forced America’s children to war in order to kill the innocent children of a country that never threatened a single American.

Now you are talking of a society that is capable of thought? China is the best example of the kinds of society you’re talking about. China, ah, a society that is capable of thought, ruled by a group of so powerful collective block composed of few politicians. That single “society capable of thought” is more important than the rights of its billions of people. Perhaps, you already heard the case of Internet bloggers who are still missing up to these days for a crime punishable by that society you’re talking about. Their sin, perhaps, is the very virtue that is cherished by your own “society” or by other “moral societies” in the world. That sin or virtue is the truth. For telling the truth, of what is happening in China, these bloggers are now part of the rising number of desaparicidos (the disappeared) in the world’s most populous collective. You might be thinking ten disappeared people are just nothing compared to the ‘common good’ of over one billion thinking society.

You must remember this, how can a society protect thousands of its own people if it cannot even protect one single individual? Those thousands of demonstrators who peacefully protested in Tiananmen Square in 1989 were killed like sitting ducks. For the common good, the few politicians who ruled billions of stupid people in China had to slaughter these thousands of protesters. That is the kind of thinking society you are talking about, Duncan.

You are right when you said that every individual must interact with his fellow individual. What are we doing now, are we not interacting? That is the usual fallacy that some confused people thought of others like me. They easily give judgment that those who believe in the virtue of individualism are isolationist. I cherish friendship and people. But I do not want to associate with people who advocate for the ideology of death.

You really think communism and Bush’s Nazism and other bad “isms” like totalitarianism, fascism, and racism are different from each other? Actually they have so many things in common, and they are the following:

1. They are all based on the idea of collectivism;

2. They preach the idea of a greater society;

3. They are silent as to individual rights;

4. Their nourishment is patriotism;

5. Their virtue is self-sacrifice (e.g., common good, go to war for the sake of the nation or oil, abolition of private property for the sake of equality, etc.)

6. They all fool the people through the idea of common good, equality, prosperity, glory, etc.

7. Their goal is national prosperity by means of war and invasion, otherwise known as the plunder of nations;

8. The basis of their influence is the confusion of the people.

This is the reason why we have to be keen on individual rights. There are many ideologies that are either silent or strategically, tactically, and flawlessly negate, reject, or utterly abolish the idea of individual rights. They regard individual rights as the enemy of the society they earnestly and creatively try to project. For the living, for the people who really like to live, they must guard their individual rights with their own life. For what is there to live if such rights were successfully abolished by people of evil intent for the sake of what they call society that is capable of thought? People will be like slaves or living dead without such rights, like those who live in Myanmar and North Korea who never felt in their whole lives the glory of living with individual rights.

Really, if people wanted to live the life of a free man, their rights must be duly recognized and respected and never granted as what you tried to project. To live, man must use his rational judgment. There are many ideologies in the world today that add to the confusion of man. Indeed, tyrants succeed to continue with their reign in power not only because they are protected by the laws they create and the men who dutifully offered their lives for the common good, but mainly because of the confusion of men.

The best answer to your comments is now being shown by the signs in the world today. Just look around you, what is happening in some countries in the world, and you may find the answer. Sad to say, the ongoing ordeal of billions of people in North Korea, Myanmar, and China combined is attributable to their ancestors in the last century who failed to prevent the rise of a dangerous collective. Tyrants do rise because of people’s defective mindset. People’s defective ideology is the permissive cause of ruthless regimes.

I end this long reply with this poignant message from Ewen Cameron who worked for CIA’s MK-Ultra about half a century ago: It is not simply against future conspiracies of evil men which we have to guard ourselves, but the weaknesses and faults in our social order, in our ways of living, against which we have to be on continual guard.”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Duncan permalink
    May 11, 2008 3:38

    Vincent,

    In an attempt to not waste any more of my time, or yours for that matter, on this subject, I’m going to start with the central issue in this whole debate.

    You said:
    “Ayn Rand’s idea is not centered on the rights of every individual. That is also mine. To me, individual rights are the natural rights of man— that man has the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Duncan argument is this— “For “rights” to be granted, there has to be a controlling entity to do the granting and there has to be something that needs “protecting”.” Such a statement is totally misplaced. My *belief*[emphasis added by Duncan] is that rights are never to be granted, since rights are innate, natural, and god-given to man. To answer this, it is important to go back to the history of mankind, which Duncan strongly disagreed because he believes it’s not necessary to learn something about history.”

    You have stated that you have a “belief”. For me, I never deal in the world of fiction, as I see it as wholly distracting from the task at hand; understanding our current situation and making it better. The very fact that you made up “god” and then asserted that “he/it/she” prescribed some sort of “rights” indicates what I had said:

    ‘For “rights” to be granted, there has to be a controlling entity to do the granting’ D

    The controlling entity, in this case, is one that you made up and you called it “god”. Well done. You could have called it “Pinky”, or “Green Alien”, but you called it “god”. Still, no matter what label you put against your creation, you still created it out of thin air. That is, it is a manifestation of your mind.

    My picking apart of your “thinking” can stop there as far as any right minded human is concerned, but let me continue to give you examples of where you put this “mind creation” trick into good use as you use it regularly. First lets us highlight the total inadequacy of your logic:

    Logically we can state: if, and as, you can’t prove god and you use the concept of god as the basis for your arguments then by definition your arguments are basis-less and can not be proven.

    Please don’t write back and tell me that I can’t disprove god, as surely your thinking is beyond that? I imagine so, as my pet Manafurican told me as much.

    Now, back to your “mind creation” game; you started by creating “confusion” and “inconsistencies” in my statements or at least in your interpretations of those statements. Watch this wonderful bit of creative writing:

    You said:
    “I called him [Duncan] “confused” and not really consistent with his statements. By confusion or contradiction is meant there are inconsistencies in his ideas that he’s not really aware of. By confusion is not meant simple confusion. By contradiction is not meant simple contradiction as well.[…] the contradiction in your comments is NOT textual but ideological. This is the reason why I said you’re confused, because the idea carried by the texts of your reply is littered with contradiction.”

    So what you did was “listen”, or read in this case, to what I actually said, and you stated yourself that there were no inconsistencies and no confusing statements yet you went on to “mind create” confusions and contradictions for me, in your own mind.

    Nothing to do with what I said, nothing to do with what I stand for, nothing to do with anything at all except the layering of an “ideology” ( a mind creation ) on top of what I said. This is proven by the fact that you could not quote me, yet you still managed to go on and discuss how confused I was! LOL “Mind creation” tricks.

    Friend, that may work with people who you speak to normally, but as I said, I deal in the real world and this is not the local press, so if you want to call me confused or full of contradictions, you’d best state where I displayed those attributes otherwise you’re just playing the “mind creation” game again. Maybe I can get away with it if my Manafurican says I can?

    So then, having created a “straw man”, you go on to knock it down. For instance, you linked, almost directly from what I said to imply that I would support what is happening in China.

    You said:
    “China is the best example of the kinds of society you’re talking about”

    Again, a “mind creation” trick. How about you ask me what kind of society I’m talking about, or read what I’ve said? You then went on to list more of the ills of this current system ( Capitalism ) as if I’m unaware of the dire nature of the situation. Another “mind creation” tool as if you had read my last post, and let me quote it;

    “Do you think that I don’t know that there are wars going on? Do you think that I don’t know that there is still famine in this world? Do you think that I, for one second, consider the current actions of this collective to be in the best interests of the collective? In case you’re in any doubt, I don’t :)” Duncan

    You would already realise that I don’t’ support the current organisational methods as “chosen” by humans just now.

    And to emphasis your point which you “mind created” in the first place, and to totally ignore my thoughts, you state what may be more reality:

    “You must remember this, how can a society protect thousands of its own people if it cannot even protect one single individual? Those thousands of demonstrators who peacefully protested in Tiananmen Square in 1989 were killed like sitting ducks. For the common good, the few politicians who ruled billions of stupid people in China had to slaughter these thousands of protesters. That is the kind of thinking society you are talking about, Duncan.”

    Again, no, that’s not the society I’m talking about. That’s the society you, in your mind, “mind created” me to be talking about. Another straw man you can easily set on fire. Well done. You’re getting too good at this. I suppose if you set the tower up, you can knock it down. You must be so well practiced in this. You “mind create” an issue and then you write words against it. You do realise you’re only discussing things inside your head here, with you, and not really with me at all? Well done. Right, for your next mind creation trick:

    You said;
    “Duncan said that rights do not have to be granted.”

    In actual fact, I said the complete opposite. Let me quote me, from your post:

    “For “rights” to be granted, there has to be a controlling entity to do the granting” Duncan

    Again, I never said that “rights” do not have to be granted, I said that the only way for a right to exist is that it is “granted”.

    You then tried to use your past “mind created” entities such a god to change the word that we use when we talk about our current system “granting” rights. You did this in a two step process

    1)You “mind created” a “god”
    2)You then “mind created” attributes that he imbued humans with

    That’s two of your well loved “mind creation” tricks, right there. So when you had pulled off this magic in your head you could then go on to state that it is only for humans to “recognise” rights and not actually “grant” them. As, of course, in your “mind created” world, “rights” have already been designed/developed/agreed and imbued in humans by the god you “mind created”. All, as our readers will understand, totally within the confines of your mind.

    My Manafurican is getting more confused by the minute. Though it is fascinated to have a tour into the world of Vincent and it tells me that it is wondering what other entities and powers you’ll create next. I’m sort of excited too. Who knows what you’ll create? Can you make it have blue wings like my Manafurican as I really like blue wings.

    Then you said, at some stage:
    “You really think communism and Bush’s Nazism and other bad “isms” like totalitarianism, fascism, and racism are different from each other? Actually they have so many things in common…”

    Now, you went on, so you must have “mind created” that I’d have answered the question with “yes”? Wow. Another “mind creation” trick.

    I think we’ve proven one thing, for sure; you’re a wonderful magician.

    Thanks for the insights into your “mind created” world. I really appreciated the tour. Maybe when you get a chance to join us, all of us, in reality, that’s the place where you have to eat and drink and interact as part of a society if you’re not to die, we can discuss things in more depth.

    In the mean time I’m off out to take my Manafurican for a fly around the block its nostrils are flared, and you and I know that’s never a good sign.

    Peace,
    Dunk

    PS. For those of you who want a link to the previous discussion: https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/ayn-rands-new-order-of-tomorrow/#comment-634

  2. May 12, 2008 3:38

    Duncan,

    yes you’re right that we have to put to rest this issue since it wastes both of our time… But your logic, and thinking, Duncan, is misplaced… You focused on the “God” word, or the god-given right… For most people, and even for the atheists, they consider such rights natural… There has to be no quarrel about the use of the word god plus given plus rights… You put so much emphasis there… In fact, I shouldn’t have used it and instead used the word innate, natural, inalienable, or rights natural to man since birth…
    That’s what’s wrong with you…with how you think… God is not the issue here. Man’s right is… So please… do not divert the issue into something else that is not in anyway connected here, Duncan. You’re just confusing yourself. In fact you made me laugh and somewhat irritated with your misplaced thinking, Duncan. Sorry for the word but I really mean it. You don’t even know if I or Ayn Rand believe in god… My god, she’s (Ayn Rand) an extreme atheist. And most of the time she used the words “my god”, too, Duncan, just for the sake of saying the words…
    My advice is… check your premise… Determine what’s that “real world” you’re talking about in that it is no longer necessary for you to know something about history and the right philosophy of man.
    You know what, Duncan? I’m the person who hates to debate with someone who has insufficient idea or knowledge about certain topics, particularly the central focus of the discussion. It will lead to no where… By anyway, thanks for dropping by. It somehow stimulated my mind…
    No, Duncan, I’d rather die than to join your dreadful collective block.

  3. Duncan permalink
    May 12, 2008 3:38

    Vincent,

    You said:
    “In fact, I shouldn’t have used it [god] and instead used the word innate, natural, inalienable, or rights natural to man since birth…”

    LOL. You remove the word “god” and still you play the “mind creation” game, that you’re so good at, but this time you call it different things; innate ( where did they come from ), natural ( where can I see them? Under the left eye-lid of new born children? ), inalienable ( can not be removed? So no one is ever killed then), natural since birth ( again, as defined where? ). And in actual fact you proved what I said, from the start, “rights” have to be granted, by one human, to another, if they are to be in existence at all.

    My larger point is that in a society where “rights”, backed up by “laws”, are needed at all is just a sign of a society that is not very focused on what is best for that society:)

    The thing is here friend, you just seem to be too scared to come to the real world where the only thing that actually gets done is done by the actions of humans. Even the very notion of “rights” is created by us, humans. And I notice that you neglected, as you always do, to answer any of the points about your last post. You just go off at a tangent. I mean:

    1)How did you respond to the point about you saying that rights have to be “recognised”? You said nothing.
    2)How did you respond to the points about you making up my answers to your questions so that you could create straw men to burn? You said nothing.
    3)How did you respond to the point about you saying I support China? You said nothing.

    In essence, and again, you could not pick to pieces my thoughts except to say that I had focused on the wrong word but to get round that you only went on to substitute it for 4 different words or phrase, but you see friend, that still leaves you with the same fundamental logical issue that you have so far failed to address with your “mind creations”.

    I’ve exposed your actions, with regards the “mind creation” trick, time and time again with numerous examples and yet you fail to see the issue with your “logic”. I’m sure that you’ll be alone in that:)

    You parted with this:
    “No, Duncan, I’d rather die than to join your dreadful collective block.”

    Dear friend, you’re already part of it. Where did you get that electricity? Where did you get that food? Where did you get those clothes?

    The collective brings you all those commodities you currently own of have access to. The only issue as it stands is that the collective is focused on profit creation and as such the commodities are a bi-product of the process of gathering profit.
    [ Is it any wonder we have poisoned foods (BSE etc), wars, still have famine and drought( when we know about pipes and desalination and pumps )?]

    When you realise that a joined up collective, which works for benefit of the collective, and that includes you, is the best way to rid the world of the current negative bi-products of the current system , you will have come a long way.

    And I know a lot of people who will welcome you when you get there:) In the mean time, have fun in Vincent world with it’s pre-ordained ( for want of a better word ) “rights” and “rules”. And remember, mine should have blue wings:)

    Peace,
    Dunk

  4. May 13, 2008 3:38

    Well, Duncan, I see no further reason to prolong this discussion. I now know how you think… Soon, you will find your way to the right philosophical and ideological direction…

  5. June 3, 2008 3:38

    Glaring says : I absolutely agree with this !

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