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Libertarian Mysticism Versus Liberty

February 8, 2010

Context-dropping is a form of dishonesty and not merely a type of “intellectual laziness…”

God knows how I reject this evil advocacy...

God knows how I reject this evil advocacy...

I have just encountered a post by a dishonest Libertarian-mystic from the Filipinos for Ron Paul Facebook group. I say it is dishonest because this guy claimed to have read perhaps a few works of Ayn Rand yet he still came up with a total distortion of the latter’s view and philosophy. I say this guy is a Libertarian-mystic because he claims to have embraced the ideals of the anarcho-capitalism faction of Libertarianism, but at the same time advocates for the “restoration of union of Church and State.” Yes, I’m not making this up. In fact, as proof of this statement, this Libertarian-mystic created a Facebook group called “Catholics for the Restoration of Union of church and State” in which he asserts that the “establishment of a state religion [is] often confused,” and that the “Catholic Church supports neither a theocracy nor a state church.”

But before I go to that dishonest assertion of this Libertarian-mystic, let me state here verbatim his rationalization of his advocacy to bring back this country to the rule of the fat friars from 15th century up to the end of the 18th century. This Libertarian-mystic states:

“An establishment of religion is the addition of a moral creed by which to judge the laws and restrict public officials from increasing power by sanctioning anything they want. It is a common misconception among citizens that it is the duty of the State to uphold morality and punish vice. That obligation belongs to the individual Catholic as set by God and may not be usurped by the State primarily because the State is composed of individuals. However, the maintenance of law and order cannot succeed without appeal to a higher standard, an inner morality defining good and evil. Government cannot legislate morality. It has tried and failed.”

It seems that this guy is unable to see the sheer contradiction of the abovementioned statement. He claims that he’s an advocate of capitalism, never mind the anarchism part of it, yet it seems that he refused to understand that the morality of religion is utterly incompatible with the ideals of capitalism. Or does he really understand the concept of capitalism? Ayn Rand and all of the proponents and founding fathers of Libertarianism, which include Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, among others firmly believed that capitalism is primarily about self-interest. We all know that altruism is the morality of the Church. In fact the Jesuits promote the following moral code— “Men and women for others.” Altruism is synonymous with “otherism.” I have stated several times that altruism is a specific form of morality being espoused not only by the Catholic Church, but all religions and even collectivist regimes as well. I stated that “this type of man-sacrificing ethical system conceptualized by Auguste Compte, states that it is the moral duty or obligation of individuals to serve the good and welfare of others and put their interests above their own.”

Really?

Really?

Also, it seems that this Libertarian-mystic doesn’t know what he’s talking about—that his proposal is as dangerous as the rule of the fat friars who executed Philippine national hero Jose Rizal 100 years ago in Bagumbayan for writing “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”. It seems that he doesn’t know that his Catholic proposal might lead to religious wars in the country, simply because other religions, particularly the protestants and the Muslims could not simply allow a single church to cohabit with the state and enjoy political and economic power and privileges. It seems that he’s totally unaware that the doctrine of “separation of church and state” led to peaceful coexistence among religions and ended religious wars in the medieval age.

Like I stated before, “The great men from the Age of the Enlightenment who ended the Dark Ages of the mystics and the religionists, were able to prove that reason exists, and that man’s mind improves and develops by observing reality. You start with what exists and never take things or issues on faith. They were able to prove that man’s mind is his only tool of cognition and that reason is his only absolute. You tackle a particular issue by using reason, a faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses. You understand things by means of logic, which should be defined as the art of non-contradictory identification.”

No, we don’t have to embrace an evil proposal that seeks to abrogate our freedom and liberty. A self-confessed Libertarian who favors the union of Church and State is an enemy of reason and a traitor of Liberty. But yes, this theocratic proposal is utterly indefensible, since no one is called upon to defend a dangerous floating abstraction.

Now this is what this Libertarian-mystic has to say about Ayn Rand’s view on charity:

“Here is one of the reasons why I stopped toeing the Objectivist party line. Socialism is the virtue of charity perverted through the use of force. By using force charity no longer becomes a personal sacrifice where you knowingly take a loss for the betterment of someone else. Rand saw the effects of socialism and hated it. But then she went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism, hence her “Virtue of Selfishness.” I kinda notice how she never really distinguished between rationality and rationalism.”

Really? So is this Libertarian-mystic trying to say that he understands the difference between “rationality and rationalism” way better than novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand did? Again, it seems that this guy doesn’t really know the difference between altruism and charity, between capitalism and statism, and between sacrifice and self-interest.

I’d like to know the exact statement of Ayn Rand on charity that “went above board” and “just as bad as socialism.” I have read and heard a great deal about Ayn Rand’s view on charity and sacrifice, but I think the claim of this Libertarian-mystic only exists in his mind. Did this guy really read and understand Ayn Rand’s Virtue of Selfishness?

I urged this Libertarian-mystic to explain how he understood Ayn Rand’s view on charity with respect to socialism. This is how he explained his disagreement with Ayn Rand:

“Socialism arises because of charitable impulses. Therefore to prevent socialism, stop charity. I disagree. What’s not to understand?”

“What’s not to understand” is the shallowness, weakness, and dishonesty of his argument which is worse than floating abstraction and context-dropping. Ayn Rand never said that “socialism arises because of charitable impulses.” Now since this Libertarian-mystic is putting words into Ayn Rand’s mouth, he has now the burden to prove and explain what he means by socialism that arises due to charitable impulses. Based on my readings, it is NEVER the style of Ayn Rand to assert socialism is a result of “charitable impulses.” Anyone who genuinely and honestly understands Ayn Rand wouldn’t even attempt to make such a highly superficial and conceited evaluation of her view on charity and socialism. It is clear that this Libertarian-mystic, like all of the dishonest critics of Ayn Rand, is attacking a straw man. It is utterly wrong- a sign of laziness or even dishonesty- to say that you understand Ayn Rand philosophy by simply reading The Fountainhead and her “Virtue of Selfishness.” If this guy really read and understood Ayn Rand, he’d know that she rejected altruism because it’s not simply the moral base of not only socialism but also of all kinds of collectivism, and because this morality of slavery and death is the very foundation of two destroyers of modern civilization: Faith and Force. The following Ayn Rand quotation explains it all: ”

“If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject…”

The following is my reply to the Facebook comment of this Libertarian-mystic:

“Do not make things up. Ayn Rand explained the difference between charity and altruism very clearly. If you read her non-fiction and fiction books, you can see her abstract examples of charity and altruism. Your so-called “disagreement” with her only shows you don’t understand her philosophy in the same manner that you failed to understand Mises’ Capitalism.”

It is pretty clear- and one doesn’t have to be genius- that “if civilization is to survive,” it is not the morality of “charity” but “altruism that men have to reject. Charity is not a form of morality. Charity is an attribute of free will, which is “your mind’s freedom to think or not.”Charity evokes the essence of volunteerism; altruism does not. Charity is simply an act of kindness, and that it’s moral so long as you don’t sacrifice your own life, survival and virtue; altruism means you act on blind faith and obedience, and that it requires that you make it your moral duty to put the welfare or interest others above your own. A good example of charity in Atlas Shrugged is when Dagny Taggart helps a tramp named Jeff Allen who stows away on a Taggart train during one of Dagny’s cross-country trips. A very good example of charity in the real-world is John Allison’s charitable funding of a number of educational institutions through the BB&T to offer a course on Ayn Rand’s works. An example of altruism is this Libertarian-mystic’s advocacy  to bring this country back to the rule of the religious mystics in the past 100 to 300 years. So “what’s not to understand?”

For the benefit of this Libertarian-mystic and anyone who stumble upon this blog, this is Ayn Rand’s view on charity:

“My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

She said that “the fact that a man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his right) does not preclude or prohibit good will among men and does not make it immoral to offer or to accept voluntary, non-sacrificial assistance.”

“It is altruism that has corrupted and perverted human benevolence by regarding the giver as an object of immolation, and the receiver as a helplessly miserable object of pity who holds a mortgage on the lives of others—a doctrine which is extremely offensive to both parties, leaving men no choice but the roles of sacrificial victim or moral cannibal…

“To view the question in its proper perspective, one must begin by rejecting altruism’s terms and all of its ugly emotional aftertaste—then take a fresh look at human relationships. It is morally proper to accept help, when it is offered, not as a moral duty, but as an act of good will and generosity, when the giver can afford it (i.e., when it does not involve self-sacrifice on his part), and when it is offered in response to the receiver’s virtues, not in response to his flaws, weaknesses or moral failures, and not on the ground of his need as such.”

Now this is Ayn Rand’s view on socialism:

“Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.”

What Ayn Rand rejected is altruism not charity, as she thought there “is nothing wrong in helping other people” so long as you do not take it as a major value or a moral duty. She also identified the moral base of socialism/communism or any other form of force or faith-based dictatorship, which is altruism. So logic tells us that it is not charity but altruism that serves as the moral base of every dictatorship.

With this Ayn Rand said: “The socialists had a certain kind of logic on their side: if the collective sacrifice of all to all is the moral ideal, then they wanted to establish this ideal in practice, here and on this earth. The arguments that socialism would not and could not work, did not stop them: neither has altruism ever worked, but this has not caused men to stop and question it. Only reason can ask such questions—and reason, they were told on all sides, has nothing to do with morality, morality lies outside the realm of reason, no rational morality can ever be defined.”

This Libertarian-mystic clearly resorted to context-dropping, which is one of the primary psychological tools of evasion. Context-dropping is a form of dishonesty and not merely a type of “intellectual laziness.”

RELATED BLOGS:

Why Many Filipinos Are Closet Socialists?

Self-Interest versus Altruism

16 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2010 3:38

    Rand on charity (From “Playboy’s 1964 interview with Ayn Rand”)
    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=faq_index#obj_q7

    “Rand’s comments in quotes.”
    [My comments in brackets.]

    “My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty.”

    [Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Doesn’t make ’em right, though…]

    “There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them.”

    [Sounds awfully familiar… Oh, wait…

    ‘Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!’ (Anton Szandor LaVey, Nine Satanic Statements, n. 4. 1969.)

    Now where did he get a wacky idea like that?

    Fun fact: Anton LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible, considered his religion ‘just Ayn Rand’s philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added.’ (James R. Lewis, Marburg Journal of Religion, Vol. 6, No. 2 June 2001)]

    “I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

    [Yep. It’s in your best interest to donate to the Ayn Rand Institute. David Kelley’s Atlas Society is taking away too many of Leonard Peikoff’s audience with his rational ideas that people other than Rand may have brains of their own and can contribute to the development of Objectivist philosophy!

    The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism
    http://www.objectivistcenter.org/cth–1703-contlegacyonline.aspx

    Froilan, next time, have the common courtesy of actually asking me directly on my forum rather than skulking around demanding answers from other people. You won’t get libertarian cooties for joining and who knows, you might just learn something.

    Libertarian mystic signing off.]

  2. February 8, 2010 3:38

    Again, it seems that you don’t really know what you’re talking about. Like I said, “Again, it seems that this guy doesn’t really know the difference between altruism and charity, between capitalism and statism, and between sacrifice and self-interest.”
    I observed that you simply read a quotation to back your dishonesty and flawed premise. Logic tells us that you cannot validate your claim without substantially knowing the views of the subject of your criticism. Are you capable of perceiving reality? Are you capable of understanding concepts and ideas?
    You didn’t even show a concrete proof that Ayn Rand “decided that charity was just as bad as socialism.” I have already tackled what you have posted here, and any man in his right mind can understand that you’re simply setting up a straw man to attack. Yes, the subject of your attack is neither Ayn Rand nor her philosophy. They call it straw man fallacy.

  3. February 9, 2010 3:38

    Alright, Froilan. I will take your challenge, but will you take mine?

    Have you joined Filipinos for Ron Paul yet as I repeatedly invited yesterday and which you avoided answering? I EXPECT TO SEE YOU THERE AFTER YOU POST THIS ON YOUR BLOG.

    Let’s go over this article in an orderly fashion. Rand may have liked Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas, but I think I shall present my point in the manner of Socrates.

    You write:

    “I say it is dishonest because this guy claimed to have read perhaps a few works of Ayn Rand yet he still came up with a total distortion of the latter’s view and philosophy.”

    First. Let’s establish to the readers several facts.

    One: You don’t know me. I’ve never met you before and I certainly don’t know you from Adam.

    Two: Because you don’t know me, you have no idea what my background is, and certainly no idea which books on Objectivism are on my shelf.

    We can both agree that these two facts are true.

    And yet you accuse that I have “read PERHAPS a few works of Ayn Rand.” You bear the burden of proof.

    And what is your proof that this is so?

    Have you perhaps broke into my house and rifled through my library with a little checklist to make sure?

    In the end, I am suspicious that even if you believed that I had enough of a shelf to satisfy you, your next accusation would be, I think, what you call “poisoning the well.”

    That I do not understand what I’ve read, that I have come up “with a total distortion of [Rand]’s view and philosophy”? Which, to you, naturally wouldn’t occur if I had owned and digested her entire bibliography and came to the same conclusion as you.

    Again the burden of proof is on you.

    1. What makes your interpretation of Rand’s writings correct and mine wrong?

    2. What makes Leonard Peikoff’s interpretation or David Kelley’s or yours or even mine more authoritative than the other when we all claim that we know what Rand was saying?

    3. What makes the arguments of ARI more valid than that of TAS?

    4. Is there a spirit of Objectivism protecting and guiding a single orthodox Truth so that it transcends any possible human failing and error and remains infallible long after the passing of Ayn Rand?

    5. How can I be sure that you speak with Rand’s voice, and not just what you imagine it to be?

    Again, we can both agree that Rand is dead and therefore can no longer arbitrate which of the many contending views is the halal choice.

    Again we can both agree that books cannot self-interpret themselves, only the readers can do so through reason.

    And what happens when two readers come to different conclusions, who arbitrates and by what authority do they speak?

    We are left with is a civil war wherein once united followers under a single leader are now contesting her legacy.

    Each claim Objectivism as their own and deny the claims of all other factions as… what was that you said: “infiltrat[ion] by hippies, theocrats, liberals, and all kinds of relativists and intellectual perverts.” ?

    1. Do you count only the works Rand herself produced when she was alive or do you include the works posthumously edited and interpreted by Leonard Peikoff? As I understand it, some TAS Objectivists aren’t too happy with the editing and think he may have been a bit more… enthusiastic than necessary.

    2. Do you include “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” as canon since it includes “Gold and Economic Freedom” by master counterfeiter and Fed fiat artist Alan Greenspan?

    3. How about “The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism” by David Kelley? I hear ARI doesn’t have much use for it.

    Enjoy the opening salvo.

    If we are to be civil in this matter, let’s lose the insulting terms. “Libertarian Mystic,” indeed! Must have taken you all night to think up that one! (^_^) I, in turn, will henceforth do you the courtesy of not referring to you as a “Randroid.”

    Francis Bonganay

    PS. I prefer the term “Catholic Libertarian.” And there more than just me.

    http://cathlibertarian.livejournal.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=110532136754
    http://catholicsforronpaul.blogspot.com/
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods83.html
    http://riskprof.typepad.com/tort/2004/10/is_there_such_t.html
    http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=330&Itemid=48
    http://orientem.blogspot.com/
    http://un-muted.blogspot.com/
    http://www.fisheaters.com/

    ================================

    • February 9, 2010 3:38

      You are shifting the “burden of proof” to me. It is clear that it’s you who have the burden of proof to validate your claim, which you have attributed to Ayn Rand: “Socialism arises because of charitable impulses. Therefore to prevent socialism, stop charity. I disagree. What’s not to understand?”
      So far I believe that is your main argument to back your claim that Ayn Rand’s interpretation of charity “went above board” and “just as bad as socialism.” This is the main issue at hand.

      I repeat:
      Ayn Rand never said that “socialism arises because of charitable impulses.” Now since this Libertarian-mystic is putting words on Ayn Rand’s mouth, he has now the burden to explain what he means by socialism that arises due to charitable impulses. Based on my readings, it is NEVER the style of Ayn Rand to assert socialism is a result of “charitable impulses.” Anyone who genuinely and honestly understands Ayn Rand wouldn’t even attempt to make such a highly superficial and conceited evaluation of her view on charity and socialism. It is clear that this Libertarian-mystic, like all of the dishonest critics of Ayn Rand, is attacking a straw man. It is utterly wrong- a sign of laziness or even dishonesty- to say that you understand Ayn Rand philosophy by simply reading The Fountainhead and her “Virtue of Selfishness.” If this guy really read and understand Ayn Rand, he’d know that she rejects altruism because it’s not simply the moral base of not only socialism but all kinds of collectivism, but because this morality of slavery and death is the very foundation of two destroyers of modern civilization: Faith and Force. The following Ayn Rand quotation explains it all:
      “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject…”

      Please stick to the present issue.

  4. Joshua L. permalink
    February 9, 2010 3:38

    Great article.

  5. February 10, 2010 3:38

    I promised that we would go through your entire article together. But you seem to want to jump and cherry pick which parts to argue and which ones to ignore. How is that honest?

    Of course I’m shifting the burden of proof on you.

    Let’s start with paragraph one.

    You’ve accuse that I have “read PERHAPS a few works of Ayn Rand.”

    How do you know which books of Rand I’ve read when you have no idea who I am, have never met me, and certainly have no idea what books I own.

    So how can you say that?

    Are you psychic? Are you an akyat-bahay expert? Or can you admit then that all you’re doing is making unfounded assumptions?

    • February 10, 2010 3:38

      My Answer to the above statement of Mr. Bonganay:

      Francis, in a debate you have to define your terms. I have defined mine as evidenced by my article above. Ayn Rand clearly defined her terms. It’s your who’s clearly cherry-picking and resorting to evasion and straw man fallacy. Wikipedia clearly defines Straw Man Fallacy as a “misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.” It further states that “to “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.”

      Now, I think that you’re going to agree with me that the main focus of this debate/discussion is your statement that Ayn Rand “went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism, hence her “Virtue of Selfishness.” Then you back this premise of yours by assuming that it is Ayn Rand’s view that: “Socialism arises because of charitable impulses. Therefore to prevent socialism, stop charity. I disagree.”

      If you read my article above and clearly understood the points I raised, you’d find out that I have CLEARLY defined my terms.

      It is important for us to define terms here so that we be guided when we raise our arguments. I have defined “charity” and “altruism,” as well as “socialism.” Now it’s your turn. This is for me and the readers to know if you really understood the philosophy of Objectivism.

      Let me answer the unrelated and irrelevant matters you adduced so you won’t think I’m resorting to evasion.

      1. What makes your interpretation of Rand’s writings correct and mine wrong?

      Answer: Because I clearly understood the philosophy of Ayn Rand and you don’t. My blog article is a clear proof. I have defined my terms there and I rebutted your assumption by giving my views on the issues of charity, altruism, and socialism. Go over that article again. I don’t think this matter is important in this debate/discussion.

      2. What makes Leonard Peikoff’s interpretation or David Kelley’s or yours or even mine more authoritative than the other when we all claim that we know what Rand was saying?

      Answer: Dr. Peikoff and David Kelley have nothing to do with this discussion. We have to stick to the facts of the issue. I don’t think I’m a second-hander to consider the “interpretation” Dr. Peikoff and Kelley. Ayn Rand made herself very clear, and anyone who read her works and made an effort to know where she was coming from would clearly understand her philosophy. Why is it that the “interpretation of Dr. Peikoff and Kelley important to you? Don’t you have your own mind to decide whether an issue is correct or not, whether a particular matter is right or wrong, whether the definition of a certain term is complete or incomplete? Dr. Peikoff is the legal and intellectual heir of Ayn Rand and I respect him. I don’t have any concern with the case of Mr. Kelley here since I DON’T THINK he’s part of this debate/discussion. If you’re honest enough, you wouldn’t even think of raising this matter. I have my own mind and I don’t think I have to rely on the opinion or interpretation of anyone to make my own conclusion. I read the works of Ayn Rand and I believe you do not really understand her philosophy in the same way that you failed to understand the real concept of capitalism. I don’t think this matter is important in this debate/discussion.

      3. What makes the arguments of ARI more valid than that of TAS?

      Answer: Because I understand Ayn Rand’s ideas and the philosophy of Objectivism. I throw the same question at you: “What makes the arguments of ARI more valid than that of TAS?” Now if you said you were part of TAS and that’s how you understand Ayn Rand’s ideas on charity and socialism, then it really shows that TAS is nothing but a group of compromisers and people who distort Ayn Rand’s philosophy. But I don’t think that’s how people in TAS crudely and dishonestly interpret Ayn Rand’s view on “charity” and “socialism” which she clearly defined. Read my blogs to really know that I understand Objectivism. Again, I don’t think this matter is important in this debate/discussion.

      4. Is there a spirit of Objectivism protecting and guiding a single orthodox Truth so that it transcends any possible human failing and error and remains infallible long after the passing of Ayn Rand?

      Answer: Objectivism is a philosophy not a mystical ideology. If you honestly read the works of Ayn Rand, you’d know that she does not regard a human being as “infallible.” This is the reason why she said that as a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. “Your only choice is whether you define you philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation — or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind’s wings should have grown.” If you really read Ayn Rand, let me refresh you that the basic tenet of her philosophy is: Existence exists, and she defined her philosophy in the following manner:
      1. Metaphysics Objective Reality
      2. Epistemology Reason
      3. Ethics Self-interest
      4. Politics Capitalism

      5. How can I be sure that you speak with Rand’s voice, and not just what you imagine it to be?

      Answer: I never said I speak Rand’s voice. But I said she’s the greatest philosopher ever lived on earth after Aristotle. Because what she said is true and can be validated. Because I believe that for us to gain proper knowledge on earth, we have to observe reality, start with what exists and never take things on faith. She was a philosopher, and it is the job of a philosopher to explain reality and man’s relationship to existence. Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence. I understand her philosophy and this is the very reason why I hate people who claimed they read Ayn Rand’s works and that they were part of TAS or whatever group but still came up with nothing but distortion and perversion of her philosophy. Now that’s dishonesty. Again, I don’t think this matter is important in this debate/discussion.

      You said: “One: You don’t know me. I’ve never met you before and I certainly don’t know you from Adam. Two: Because you don’t know me, you have no idea what my background is, and certainly no idea which books on Objectivism are on my shelf.”

      Answer: Mr. Bonganay, I may not have barged into your house to see the contents of your bookshelf, but the fact is that you’re inviting anyone to make an interpretation about how you interpreted Ayn Rand by posting the following statement on the Ron Paul’s group:

      “Here is one of the reasons why I stopped toeing the Objectivist party line. Socialism is the virtue of charity perverted through the use of force. By using force charity no longer becomes a personal sacrifice where you knowingly take a loss for the betterment of someone else. Rand saw the effects of socialism and hated it. But then she went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism, hence her “Virtue of Selfishness.” I kinda notice how she never really distinguished between rationality and rationalism.””

      First, Objectivism is not and never a party line. It is a philosophy. Second, you’re wrong in assuming that Ms Rand “went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism, hence her “Virtue of Selfishness.”

      Why did I assume that you somehow read “a few works of Ayn Rand” even without barging into your room? Here are my points:

      First, because the matters that you distorted, namely, charity, socialism, and impliedly, altruism, are important parts of her philosophy. Anyone who genuinely and honestly understands Ayn Rand wouldn’t even attempt to make such a highly superficial and conceited evaluation of her view on charity and socialism. I am clearly repeating here almost everything I stated in my article.

      Let me repeat what I stated above wherein I evaluation your assumption:

      “It is clear that this Libertarian-mystic, like all of the dishonest critics of Ayn Rand, is attacking a straw man. It is utterly wrong- a sign of laziness or even dishonesty- to say that you understand Ayn Rand philosophy by simply reading The Fountainhead and her “Virtue of Selfishness.” If this guy really read and understand Ayn Rand, he’d know that she rejected altruism because it’s not simply the moral base of not only socialism but also all kinds of collectivism, and because this morality of slavery and death is the very foundation of two destroyers of modern civilization: Faith and Force. “

      Second, it is because Ayn Rand clearly defined and explained her philosophy. Now, if you probably read The Virtue of Selfishness, which you mentioned, you’d understand that charity is not the same as and not synonymous to altruism. Even the dictionary clearly defines these terms. I have defined these terms and I even gave examples, but let me define these terms for you again.
      Altruism (according to Mac Computer dictionary): the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.
      Charity (according to Mac Computer dictionary): the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need. Take note the word “voluntary.
      Socialism (according to Mac Computer dictionary): a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

      Now please do not tell me I never tackled these things in my article. I assume that you’re intelligent enough to know these terms. Read my article again.

      Third, because anyone who happens to read your Facebook post would assume that you read any of the works of Ayn Rand. Now, I am not speaking of quantity here or the number of Ayn Rand books you read. That’s irrelevant. I am speaking of the quality of the assumption that you made by saying that Rand “went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism, hence her “Virtue of Selfishness,” and by claiming that she thought “socialism arises because of charitable impulses. Therefore to prevent socialism, stop charity. I disagree.” It’s the same as Pedro saying the Bible preaches death and slavery, so Juan has the right to assume that Pedro really read and understood the Bible.

      Also, when you said that Ayn Rand “went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism, hence her “Virtue of Selfishness,” and by claiming that she thought “socialism arises because of charitable impulses, it is as if you’re saying that:

      a. Ayn Rand’s rejection of socialism or any form of collectivism was founded on her rejection of “charity” not “altruism.”

      b. all socialist and communist societies like Sovert Russia, China, Venezuela, etc. were based on the morality of “charity” when in fact there is no such thing.

      b. the entire philosophy of Ayn Rand is defective since you are claiming that it is not altruism that she rejected but charity.

      Furthermore, you have stated that you were part of Kelley’s group. You said in our Facebook discussion:
      “I used to be a card carrying member of ARI until I sided with David Kelley in the split on whether or not objectivism was a closed (Rand only) or open system (we all have brains to contribute.).”

      ——-
      Now, it’s my turn. Define the following terms and relate them to your understanding of Ayn Rand’s works and her philosophy of Objectivism:
      1. Charity;
      2. Altruism;
      3. Socialism;
      4. Collectivism/statism;
      5. Self-interest;
      6. Capitalism

      Also, please respond to the following matters:

      1. Kindly cite or quote any of the works of Ayn Rand that proves your premise that “she went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism.” I have to remind you that I discussed this matter in my article. I have to remind you as well that you still have never raised a valid argument to back your premise.

      2. Kindly cite or quote any of the works of Ayn Rand that proves your argument that she thought “socialism arises because of charitable impulses. Therefore to prevent socialism, stop charity.” I have to remind you that I also discussed this matter in my article. I have to remind you as well that you still have never raised a valid argument to defend your premise.

      3. What is your understanding of altruism with respect to the works of Ayn Rand, and how is it related to socialism?

      4. What is your understanding of charity with respect to the works of Ayn Rand, and how is it related to socialism?

      This is how rational people conduct a debate. They should only focus on the main issue at hand. This is why we have rational principles and legal procedures. In a civilized society, rational principles matter. We no longer live in the Dark Ages of the Catholic mystics who took faith as an absolute.

      Mr. Bonganay, may I remind you that we have to stick to the real issue. I have defined my terms in my article above and it’s your turn to present yours and your argument. It is important for us not to include unrelated and irrelevant matters because it is clear that the main issue here is your understanding of Ayn Rand’s interpretation of “charity” and “altruism.” I don’t think that peddling unrelated and irrelevant matters here is necessary at all, like the issues on Dr. Peikoff and Kelley, as well as your funny assumption that I had to barge into your home to check what books you read. I see it necessary to repeat what I have posted on Ayn Rand’s Facebook group: “I have yet to see his solid argument to back this hilarious assumption, and I’m hoping to see an honest, honorable opponent who doesn’t resort to evasion, context-dropping, straw man fallacy, and argument from Intimidation…”

      Furthermore since you claimed that you “used to be a card carrying member of ARI until I sided with David Kelley”, I don’t think that Kelley and the people in TAS would even come up with an interpretation that Ayn Rand “went overboard and decided that charity was just as bad as socialism” and that she thought ” “Socialism arises because of charitable impulses. Therefore to prevent socialism, stop charity.”

      An honest man wouldn’t rely on the opinion of anyone about a certain individual. So many critics of Ayn Rand distorted her philosophy and it is sad that a lot of people believe them. A truly honest man would exert some effort to know the truth- to validate his points without relying on second-hand information. I don’t think that people in TAS wouldn’t come up with such a superficial and dishonest interpretation and distortion of Ayn Rand’s view on charity, socialism, and altruism. Do you?

      • John C. permalink
        February 10, 2010 3:38

        Very nice! Concise and Objective.

      • John C. permalink
        February 10, 2010 3:38

        Very nice! Concise and objective.

      • John C. permalink
        February 10, 2010 3:38

        Very nice! Concise and objective.

      • John C. permalink
        February 10, 2010 3:38

        Very nice! Concise and Objective.

  6. John permalink
    February 10, 2010 3:38

    Very nice! Concise and objective.

  7. Justin Cañares permalink
    February 14, 2010 3:38

    “I am clearly repeating here almost everything I stated in my article.”

    Its funny and very true.

    • February 14, 2010 3:38

      It’s really hard to debate with someone who’s a hardcore relativist, a liar, and someone who’s simply good at obfuscation, context-dropping, and evasion!

  8. John Galt permalink
    May 29, 2011 3:38

    Most interesting discourse between the two antagonist, but they have points of interest & points of ignorance of each others perspectives.
    The Truth is but one point, and the fools have multiplied it a 1000 times, is paraphrase of my wife’s religion!

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