Know your enemy

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Re: Know your enemy

Postby ubermensch » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:30 pm

being vaguely familiar with ayn rand ( having only read "the virtue of selfishness" ) and reading some of the the replies i ran into some one quoting einstein ,which in turn reminded me of another one of his quotes. "no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it" . i think there is no doubt we are facing a financial crisis , and there is no doubt in my mind that this stream of consciousness helped contribute to the current problem and no doubt to future problems. so as to the "know your enemy " remark , i couldnt agree more ...
The more I give to consciousness/awareness , the more consciousness gives to me . .... ....
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Azur » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:51 pm

Nice quote Jade, and very relevant!

Ryan…I think you misunderstood me, and it’s probably my fault because I’m not explaining my thoughts very clearly.

When I say the individual precedes the society, I mean in time…. Yes in time. Unlike what religion might say, God did not create men in his own image. Evolution did. There are two sources of evolution: the natural (physical) environment and social interaction. The homo sapiens became what it is in a process that lasted some 7 or 8 million years that separate him from the common ancestor with the apes. 8 million years is a long time…During that time, the primitive men learned gradually to adjust to the environment and at the same time developed their social interaction, which in turn became a part of their environment that the next generations needed to take into account. And the ability to learn rises proportionately with the social intelligence, making in its turn longer learning processes. It’s a sort of a virtuous circle. See the picture? The homo sapiens acquired, among other things language, and capacity of abstraction. Long story short, before gradually acquiring these capacities the ancestors of men lived in a primitive society. So before men became men they were already in a society. The natural state of a human being is a social state.

So I’m not in anyway putting society above the individual, I’m merely saying that they are inseparable and that human beings became homo sapiens as a result of social interaction, not only, but to a great extent. All this was actually discovered relatively recently through the advances in primatology and paleoanthropology. Before this, a religious vision of the man created by God in his image prevailed. The strict separation between man and animal and the plants. But science has shown phenomena of co-evolution between men and plants (through agriculture) as well as between men and animals (cats and dogs are our best friends right?:-)

Anyway that changes the picture of the society as the sum of its individuals, right? And that’s the idea behind Ayn Rand’s philosophy. All this of course needs much further development but I’m just trying to highlight the main idea.

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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Sabina » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:07 am

"no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it"
That's a very fitting quote ubermensch.

Azur, I originally read the article on the page you provided as a reference but didn't watch the video. I made up for that now, at least as much as I could take of it... and my only question is, how can that man be a speaker for anyone? The things he says are completely nonsensensical, and I don't mean only in regards to his "philosophy", but purely logically speaking, his words are ludicrous! He speaks without truly saying anything, presents things in a way like one presents "evidence", yet he even contradicts himself a few times. He simply says whatever fits his statement at the time.
I started watching it with the intention to watch all of it, but... it is too "out there" for me and completely void of reason.
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Ryan » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:56 am

I still don't get it... sorry... I am really trying...
Azur wrote:Anyway that changes the picture of the society as the sum of its individuals, right?

No, it doesn't... without the individuals there isn't a society... and if you try to remove society you can only do so by removing the individuals... they are one and the same. The statement... "society is the sum of its individuals"... is a correct statement... To still have life... or the individual without society would mean there is only one living entity at a time...

Albeit the statement "society is the sum of its individuals" is not a complete statement but I don't think those words exclude the affects or influences of every preceding individual that is no longer in the society.

But regardless... how does Ayn Rand's philosophy change anything for the better or worse than what has already been going on for decades?
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby mirjana » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:56 pm

Ryan wrote:...
But regardless... how does Ayn Rand's philosophy change anything for the better or worse than what has already been going on for decades?



It doesn´t. The sad thing is that in spite of that her philosophy is very much used today to support the policy of those who fit very nice into Sabina´s answer about weapons.
http://www.deepspirits.com/exploration/weapons-are-necessary--t868.html#p6915
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Azur » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:00 pm

Indeed a very nice quote ubermensch!

Sabina, I think we share the instinctive reaction to that video, but let's try and point out more precisely what's wrong with it. His analysis of the subprime crisis is completely ideological. At the basis of this ideology is that the invisible hand of the market is the only thing that can ensure the proper functioning of the economy and if anything goes wrong it’s the fault of the government who shouldn’t have meddled in the first place. As a matter of fact he is right about the role of the federal reserve whose interests were too low since the 9/11. But the main actors of the catastrophe are the banks and the rating agencies, both private, who had this delusional idea that housing prices would rise forever in the US. So far from being “rational” these actors put in danger the economy worldwide, without having to pay for the consequences, because they were bailed out by the government i.e. tax payers i.e the people. I’m not defending the government either. It saved the banks by contracting enormous amounts of debt for which people will have to pay. It’s one of the characteristics of today’s finance and corporate world: nationalization of losses and privatisation of the profits. That’s just robbery. And the bankers far from being grateful, distributed large amounts of bonuses to their management and traders….

His explanation of the subprime crisis is that it’s the fault of the Fed and too much regulation on finance. Goodness, look what they did with today’s (extremely light actually) regulation, imagine what they would do if there wasn’t any… So basically this guy is a fraud. He is more like a “guru” of capitalism than an economist. The idea that “rational” economic actors aiming to maximise their profit would make the economy work as long as they are left on their own, well just proved wrong, and I don’t see anybody with a minimum intellectual honesty who can claim the opposite. Not very many economists do today, this guy is pretty exotic in that sense.

Ryan, let me give you an example of a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts. A house is made of bricks, concrete, wood, wires, …right? But the sum of these individual parts does not make a house. The sum is just bricks + concrete + wood+ wires. And a house is not just bricks + concrete + wood … it’s a house. Do you see what I mean now?

The thing with the humanity is that the individual parts (bricks…) built the house on their own while building themselves in the same time. I don’t know if I’m being clear again but I guess this is my best shot.

And what does that have to do with Ayn Rand? Well, considering that the society is only a some of its individuals, she denies all that we have in common. She thinks that the individual should free himself from what’s common and pursue only his own interest. And than she claims that there can not be conflict of interest between rational individuals. This last statement is just wishful thinking based on nothing. The human history is the one of conflicts of interest, and the bigger the stakes the harder the conflict.

So objectively I think that objectivism is unobjective. =0@

And Mirjana you’re very right when you say it doesn’t change anything. For me it just shows a path not to be followed.

Cheers!
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby mirjana » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:31 pm

Azur wrote:...
And Mirjana you’re very right when you say it doesn’t change anything. For me it just shows a path not to be followed.

Cheers!

Azur,
Not only that and that is what I tried to point out. The sad fact for humanity is that there are many of others who follow that path. And there are many who manipulate "those in between " with objectivism and similar philosophies in order to produce critical mass making their goal dominant. Such manipulator is Ayn Rand Institute.
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Ryan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:36 am

Ok... I do see now that Ayn Rand's philosophy does not improve or worsen anything it is a flag on another edge of the coin we have been living. And I do thank you... it has been rather informative... and I agree with everyone so far... the video... the texts I have watched and read have been utter nonsense and I am in awe at the desperation one must be in to accept such nonsense as factual.

But as for the house... yes... a house is just bricks, wood, nails, screws, wires, pipes... it is a pile of them... arranged in a specific order... You think people in New Zealand look at those piles of rumble and go... "where's my house? someone replaced my house with this pile of rocks, bricks, wood, wires and pipes!!"... no... they cry and say... "look at my house!! It is destroyed..." And when asked... "what will you do now?" they say "I will re-build it"... which simply means they will take that pile (and probably add other piles) and rearrange the pieces... and maybe even make a better house out of it...

A home on the other hand would be a different story... however... a home doesn't have to be made of anything... a home can be completely void of walls, roofs, floors, electricity or windows...

See... here is where I get stuck sometimes... most philosophies are always based upon something, some "known" truth, because that is the only way people are going to relate and be able to understand and accept it. Most philosophies have that one founding aspect that can't be proved true or false and that is why they are called a philosophy rather than a fact... or simply babble. But when this aspect of the philosophy is presented as faulty... and I don't see it... I certainly would love to... because it is the perfect rebuttal. I don't have any personal feelings towards the statement in this discussion... I just don't see how it is faulty... I just can't see a way around it... so since you do, I would like to... but so far I still don't...

You know the philosophical statement "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around does it make any sound?"? And a lot of people approach it from the technical side of, what is sound but vibrations and do they only become sound once registered by the ear... but I always liked "if nobody is there to hear it how do you know it fell?" as a response...

Or... "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" my reply is always "neither, the rooster came first" =0P

You see what I mean? So... nothing personal towards you or from me... I just don't see how one can see fault in the philosophical statement "society is only the sum its individuals"...? But I want to!!
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Azur » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:55 pm

mirjana wrote:
Azur wrote:...
And Mirjana you’re very right when you say it doesn’t change anything. For me it just shows a path not to be followed.

Cheers!

Azur,
Not only that and that is what I tried to point out. The sad fact for humanity is that there are many of others who follow that path. And there are many who manipulate "those in between " with objectivism and similar philosophies in order to produce critical mass making their goal dominant. Such manipulator is Ayn Rand Institute.


Absolutely right again. That's what I ment by know your enemy

Ryan, you said

But as for the house... yes... a house is just bricks, wood, nails, screws, wires, pipes... it is a pile of them... arranged in a specific order...


And I say no ;0) . A house is a house. It's a place where people live. It is a whole new entity compared to a pile of bricks, wood, etc. And It's that specific order that gives it a whole new identity. I mean you can take practically anything as an example for that. Tomato sauce is not just tomatoes + onions+ basilicum+ garlic+ salt+ pepper. It's a tomato sauce. The human body is not bones + blood + organs. It's a human body. A musical chord is not just note + note + note. It's a chord. It has harmony.

Just as well society is not individual + individual + individual. It's society. It is very clear to me...

We may never agree on that but I do like contradiction nevertheless ;0) .

Cheers
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Re: Know your enemy

Postby Ryan » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:01 am

Hmmm... well then I don't understand how the house metaphor is applicable with society... Please explain how you can arrange the individuals differently in order for society to become just a pile of individuals and completely void of society... or explain how to disassemble society to have only individuals?
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