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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hotline for those suffering from post-structurailsm


Marx had contempt for ideals..

On 19 October 1877, Marx wrote:

A rotten spirit is making itself felt in our Party in Germany, not so much among the masses as among the leaders (upper class and “workers”).

The compromise with the Lassalleans has led to compromise with other half-way elements too; in Berlin (e.g., Most) with Dühring and his “admirers,” but also with a whole gang of half-mature students and super-wise doctors who want to give socialism a “higher ideal” orientation, that is to say, to replace its materialistic basis (which demands serious objective study from anyone who tries to use it) by modern mythology with its goddesses of Justice, Freedom, Equality and Fraternity. Dr. Hochberg, who publishes the Zukunft [Future] is a representative of this tendency and has “bought himself in” to the party – with the “noblest” intentions, I assume, but I do not give a damn for “intentions.” Anything more miserable than his programme of the “future” has seldom seen the light of day with more “modest” “presumption.”

The workers themselves when, like Mr. Most and Co. they give up work and become professional literary men, always set some theoretical mischief going and are always ready to attach themselves to muddleheads from the alleged “learned” caste. Utopian socialism especially, which for tens of years we have been clearing out of the German workers’ heads with so much toil and labour – their freedom from it making them theoretically, and therefore also practically, superior to the French and English – utopian socialism, playing with fancy pictures of the future structure of society, is now raging in a much more futile form, as compared not only with the great French and English utopians, but with – Weitling. Naturally utopianism, which before the time of materialistic-critical socialism concealed the germs of the latter within itself, coming now after the event can only be silly – silly, stale and basically reactionary.

Source

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Liberal, intellectual, ants are bad for the ant colony...


New feminism, new misanthropy

The new feminism is the clothing being worn by an Emperor who is shaking off old progressive ideas, but who wants to make this shaking-off look like something forward-looking and women-friendly rather than what it is: anti-human, a rewinding of the gains of modernity, which is harmful to both men and women.

The end result? The new feminism — or rather its embrace by relativistic, illiberal elites — has nurtured a new misanthropy. Today, feminism promotes distrust of humanity more thoroughly than almost any other movement. With its scaremongering about rape and sexual assault, its unhinged depiction of campuses as hotbeds of male abuse, its description of the West as a ‘sea of misogyny’, its presentation of the internet as a site of foul commentary, its claim that the streets are unsafe, and its view even of the home — that heart in a heartless world — as a place of violence against women and children, the new feminism gives the impression that humanity is rotten, untrustworthy, requiring closer policing and censorship in order to keep his passions and madnesses in check. Here, too, we are really witnessing modern society’s own distrust of humankind coming to the fore, once again dressed in new-feminist garb rather than revealing its true essence: which is that, as the values of the Enlightenment are unravelled, so the public comes increasingly to be seen as a problem in need of management rather than as a sentient demos capable of freedom and greatness.

The new feminism, this global franchise, this pop and political phenomenon, is not really a movement. Nor is it, as men’s rights complainers argue, a feministic conspiracy to do down men. Rather, it is but the keenest expression of the mainstream misanthropy and turn against Enlightenment thought of the modern West itself. The ‘male’ values being attacked are really the universal values of reason, autonomy, progress and truth — values that both men and women need, and deserve. Forget the ‘sex wars’. We don’t need new feminism, nor do we need a new men’s rights movement. We need men and women to come together to challenge the illiberalism and backwardness of the modern West, which is so often expressed in new-feminist terminology. That is, we need humanism.

Argentina: Ruined by Socialism



Eventually the Progressives and Socialists took control of the government of Argentina; they increased taxes every year to unacceptable levels like current U.S. tax policies do today, and they over-taxed the wealthy.

They treated successful business leaders in Argentina oppressively – just like Obama and Hillary are aggressively doing in the U.S. today.

Argentina provided massive welfare programs for non-working members of society like the Socialists and Progressives in the Obama administration are doing in the U.S. today.

Socialists in Argentina provided Socialized medical care for millions of people who did not work and it drove the government’s cost of medical care to unacceptable levels.

Progressives in Argentina approved union and government pension plans that were excessive and could no longer be funded like state and federal government retirement programs in the U.S. today.

Argentina had to borrow billions of dollars each year to fund their Progressive and Socialist programs like the Obama administration has been doing for nearly 7 years, and Argentina’s Progressive and Socialist programs eventually drove the country into such massive national debt that Argentina could no longer repay even the interest on the national debt which exceeded the Gross National Product.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Quotes of the Day: Power of philosophy

"The present state of the world is not the proof of philosophy’s impotence, but the proof of philosophy’s power. It is philosophy that has brought men to this state—it is only philosophy that can lead them out." ~ Ayn Rand in For the New Intellectual

"Millions, billions of men may be oblivious of the process, they may be ignorant of philosophy, they may even be contemptuous of abstractions, but knowingly or not they are shaped ultimately by the abstractions of a small handful of individuals. In this sense it's far too weak a statement to say that the pen is mightier than the sword. The pen and only a couple of pens create all the swords and the swordsmen and the cause of their battle and the final outcome." ~ Dr. Leonard Peikoff in his lecture "The Role of Philosophy and Psychology in History"

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

NASA Scientist John L. Casey Warns of the Coming Cold Crisis 2015





Chronic record cold temperatures, double the normal high magnitude earthquakes, and massive volcanic eruptions. While government sponsored scientists are not making the connection, top scientist John L. Casey has, and will share his perspective on a coming cold era that has repeated itself through history every 200 years.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dr. Salmieri: Thinking Objectively (OCON 2014)



If you are an honest person, you are not content to hold beliefs subjectively — because of accidental features of your psychology or circumstances. You aspire to be objective — to conform all of your thinking to the facts. To do this you must be able to identify the available evidence, to determine what conclusions it supports, to check the premises you have already formed, and to integrate your conclusions into a consistent sum. This lecture by philosopher Gregory Salmieri, recorded at the 2014 Objectivist Summer Conference in Las Vegas, discusses these skills and how to develop them.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What is "objective reality"?

Many people make the mistake of using the phrase "objective reality" to refer to the material things, which exist around us independent of our consciousness. In OPAR, Dr. Leonard Peikoff describes "objective reality" in these words:

People often speak of "objective reality." In this usage, which is harmless, "objective" means "independent of consciousness." The actual purpose of the concept, however, is to be found not in metaphysics, but in epistemology. Strictly speaking, existents are not objective; they simply are. It is minds, and specifically conceptual processes, that are objective or nonobjective.
Dr. Leonard Peikoff in OPAR [chapter - Objectivity]

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Immanuel Kant the Nihilist

In this book Eugene Thacker, the author, has tried to present Kant as a nihilist philosopher. Still this article paints an authentic seeming portrait of Kant's "negative" sense of life and his hatred of all human values.
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An excerpt from Starry Speculative Corpse [Horror of Philosophy, vol. 2] (Zero Books, 2015)

On the 12th of February, 1804, Immanuel Kant lay on his deathbed. “His eye was rigid, and his face and lips became discoloured by a cadaverous pallor.” A few days following his death, his head was shaved, and “a plaster cast was taken, not a mask merely, but a cast of the whole head, designed to enrich the craniological collection of Dr. Gall,” a local physician. The corpse of Kant was made up and dressed appropriately, and, according to some accounts, throngs of visitors came day and night. “Everybody was anxious to avail himself of the last opportunity he would have for entitling himself to say, ‘I too have seen Kant.’” Their impressions seemed to be at once reverent and grotesque. “Great was the astonishment of all people at the meagreness of Kant’s appearance; and it was universally agreed that a corpse so wasted and fleshless had never been beheld.” Accompanied by the church bells of Konigsberg, Kant’s corpse was carried from his home by torchlight, to a candle-lit cathedral, whose Gothic arches and spires were perhaps reminiscent of the philosopher’s elaborate, vaulted books.

In his book A Short History of Decay, E.M. Cioran once wrote: “I turned away from philosophy when it became impossible to discover in Kant any human weakness, any authentic accent of melancholy, in Kant and in all the philosophers.” Indeed, for many, the name of Immanuel Kant has become synonymous with a certain type of elaborate, grand, system-building philosophy that characterizes works such as The Critique of Pure Reason, first published in 1781. Indeed, so decisive was the impact of Kant’s later, “critical” philosophy that textbooks on the history of philosophy often refer to philosophy before Kant and “post-Kantian philosophy.” The significance of Kant’s philosophy is, however, counter-balanced by its notorious difficulty. Reading through the table of contents alone, with its dazzling and labyrinthine array of sections, sub-sections, and sub-subsections, is a task in and of itself. Nevertheless, if Kant’s philosophy achieved one thing, it was a renewed optimism in philosophy, much in line with Enlightenment ideals concerning the advantages of secular reason and the “maturing” of humanity as a whole. Reading through Kant’s works, with their patient and rigorous divisions and sub-divisions, there is a sense of philosophy as an all-encompassing, totalizing endeavor. Philosophy, in its Kantian modes, knows everything – it even knows what it doesn’t know.

That Kant suffered from depression may come as a surprise, especially given the ambition of his philosophical books and the enthusiasm of his wide-ranging intellectual interests (his lecture courses cover everything from philosophical logic to anthropology to chemistry to predictions about the end of the world). But in 1798, in a letter to a colleague on the topic of “the art of prolonging human life,” Kant commented on his own struggle with depression. The comments are rare for Kant, both in the sense of being personal and in the way they serve as a confession of weakness. In typical fashion, Kant first defines depression as “the weakness of abandoning oneself despondently to general morbid feelings that have no definite object (and so making no attempt to master them by reason).” A thought without an object is a troubling thing in Kant’s philosophy; it can lead to endless train of fickle thoughts without any ground, similar to the speculative debates in Kant’s time over the existence of God, the origin of the universe, or the existence of a soul. Reason becomes employed for no reason – or at least, for no good reason. At issue for Kant is not just the employment of reason over faith or imagination, but the instrumental use of reason – reason mastering itself, including its own limitations. This was as much the case for everyday thought as it was for philosophical thinking: “The opposite of the mind’s self-mastery… is fainthearted brooding about the ills that could befall one, and that one would not be able to withstand if they should come.”

And when the coherence of reason is threatened, so is philosophy. Or rather, so is the philosopher. A little later on, Kant offers this strange confession: “I myself have a natural disposition to hypochrondria because of my flat and narrow chest, which leaves little room for the movement of the heart and lungs; and in my earlier years this disposition made me almost weary of life.”

Elsewhere Kant drops hints of this depression. In the Critique of Judgement, for instance, he allows that “misanthropy” is preferable, and even has the character of the sublime: “Falsehood, ingratitude, injustice, the puerility of the ends which we ourselves look upon as great and momentous… these all so contradict the idea of what men might be if they only would, and are so at variance with our active wish to see them better, that, to avoid hating where one cannot love, it seems but a slight sacrifice to forego all the joys of fellowship with our kind.”

But Kant does not give in so easily to this “pathology” of thought. Philosophy is the panacea. Kant distinguishes “philosophizing” from “philosophy,” though both play a therapeutic role in reason’s self-mastery. Philosophizing, for Kant, “does not involve being a philosopher,” but instead “is a means of warding off many disagreeable feelings and, besides, a stimulant to the mind that introduces an interest into its occupations.” At another level, there is “philosophy” proper, “whose interest is the entire final end of reason (an absolute unity),” and which “brings with it a feeling of power which can well compensate to some degree for the physical weaknesses of old age by a rational estimation of life’s value.”

This is all fine, from the critical distance of philosophical self-mastery. But things get a little more complicated when Kant discusses depression (in the same essay he also discusses boredom, diet, and sleep). What Kant doesn’t consider is that reason might actually be connected to depression, rather than stand as its opposite. What if depression – reason’s failure to achieve self-mastery – is not the failure of reason but instead the result of reason? What if human reason works “too well,” and brings us to conclusions that are anathema to the existence of human beings? What we would have is a “cold rationalism,” shoring up the anthropocentric conceits of the philosophical endeavor, showing us an anonymous, faceless world impervious to our hopes and desires. And, in spite of Kant’s life-long dedication to philosophy and the Enlightenment project, in several of his writings he allows himself to give voice to this cold rationalism. In his essay on Leibniz’s optimism he questions the rationale of an all-knowing God that is at once beneficent towards humanity but also allows human beings to destroy each other. And in his essay “The End of All Things” Kant not only questions humanity’s dominion over the world, but he also questions our presumption to know that – and if – the world will end at all: “But why do human beings expect an end to the world at all? And if this is conceded to them, why must it be a terrible end?”

The implication in these and other comments by Kant is that reason and the “rational estimation of life’s value” may not have our own best interests in mind, and the self-mastery of reason may not coincide with the self-mastery of us as human beings (or, indeed, of the species as a whole). Philosophical reason taken to these lengths would not only make philosophy improbable (for how could one have philosophy without philosophers?), but also impractical (and what would be the use of such a “depressive reason”?). What Kant refers to as depression is simply this stark realization: that thought is only incidentally human. It would take a later generation of philosophers to derive the conclusion of this: that thought thinks us, not the reverse.

Legend has it that Kant’s final word on his deathbed was “enough” (genug). The aged peripatetic philosopher of Koningsberg let out a word that was also a sigh, and depressive reason seems to have had the final say.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

John Locke on Property Rights

John Locke famously argued that we acquire rights in the property with which we mix our own labour:

Though the Earth, and all inferior Creatures be common to all Men, yet every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he re-moves out of the State that Nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his Labour with, and joyned to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his Property. It being by him removed from the common state Nature placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other Men. For this Labour being the un-questionable Property of the Labourer, no Man but he can have a right to what that is once joyned to, at least where there is enough and as good left in common for others.

You see immediately that, right from the off, Locke virtually assumes his own conclusion: that every Man has a Property in his own Person means the concept of Property is already assumed. But he does take it some way further.

Source:  Peter Cresswell in NotPC

Hitler Was A Socialist



Good lecture on Hitler's socialist ideology. However, he does a terrible job at defending capitalism, he concedes the moral point from the start by saying that all systems are "dog eat dog".

Monday, August 17, 2015

On Renaissance..

"The Renaissance was specifically the rebirth of reason, the liberation of man's mind, the triumph of rationality over mysticism - a faltering, incomplete, but impassioned triumph that led to the birth of science, of individualism, of freedom." ~ Ayn Rand

Interaction between Wynand & Toohey in The Fountainhead

Ellsworth Toohey: I feel it is my duty to offer you my advice.
Gail Wynand: Whom do you recommend?
Ellsworth Toohey: The rising star of the profession, Peter Keating. No other architect can equal his ability. That Mr. Wynand, is my sincere opinion.
Gail Wynand: I believe you.
Ellsworth Toohey: You do?
Gail Wynand: Of course, but Mr. Toohey, why should I consider your opinion?
Ellsworth Toohey: Well, after all, I am the architectural critic of The Banner.
Gail Wynand: My dear Toohey, don't confuse me with my readers!

~ from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Karl Marx was a violent and hateful man

Karl Marx saw his task as the ruthless criticism of everything that exists and advocated the forcible overthrow of the social classes. What fueled his intense anger and caused him to demonize virtually every aspect of society?

A violent man will beget violent ideas. As noted earlier, Bruno Bauer had taught that a world catastrophe was in the making. From an early age Marx was possessed of the idea that Doomsday was around the corner. Johnson notes that Marx’s poetry includes expressions of “savagery . . . intense pessimism about the human condition, hatred, a fascination with corruption and violence, suicide pacts and pacts with the devil.” A poem about Marx, variously attributed to Engels and to Bauer’s brother Edgar, describes him as “A dark fellow from Trier, a vigorous monster, / . . . / With angry fist clenched, he rants ceaselessly, / As though ten thousand devils held him by the hair.”

In Marx’s personal life, violence was never far from the surface. He was verbally abusive, and arguments were common within his family. According to an Encyclopedia Britannica account on Marx, his father even expressed fears that Jenny von Westphalen was “destined to become a sacrifice to the demon that possessed his son.” Jenny commented early about the rancor and irritation she often experienced in dealing with her fiancé.

Summarizing Marx’s animosities, the late British historian Sir Arthur Bryant wrote: “Among his innumerable hates were the Christian religion, his parents, his wife’s uncle—‘the hound’—his German kinsfolk, his own race—‘Ramsgate is full of fleas and Jews’, the Prussian reactionaries, the Liberal and utopian Socialist allies, the labouring population—‘Lumpenproletariat’ or ‘riff-raff’—democracy—‘parliamentary cretinism’—and the British royal family—‘the English mooncalf and her princely urchins,’ as he called them. His self-imposed task he defined as ‘the ruthless criticism of everything that exists.’”

Looking back on the life and writings of Karl Marx, it is difficult to erase the more recent memory of the spectacular failure of his theories. Stalin and Mao killed millions in their efforts to maintain ruthless state control. Marx’s economic theories did not bring resolution to the wrongs that he saw in the social order. In fact, his theories were catastrophic for the lives of millions, and continue to be so in the aftermath of communism’s collapse.

Source: A Dark Fellow From Trier

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Credible Hulk


When communism fell, so did mass killings

Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek: A Side-by-Side Comparison

This article, by Ed Younkins is a good comparison between Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek. Essentially, Hayek was a social collectivist, he thought that it was good to have government supplying pubic goods & providing safety net. In her life time, Ayn Rand has been critical of Hayek's social ideas during her lifetime.
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Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek did more than any other writers in the Twentieth Century to turn intellectual opinion away from statism and toward a free society. Although they are opposed on many philosophical and social issues, they generally agree on the superiority of a free market. Rand’s defense of capitalism differs dramatically from Hayek’s explanation of the extended order. In addition, Hayek approves of state activity that violates Rand’s ideas of rights and freedom. The purpose of this brief essay is to describe, explain, and compare the ideas of these two influential thinkers. To do this, I present and explain an exhibit that provides a side-by-side summary of the differences between Rand and Hayek on a number of issues.

In their early years of writing, both Hayek and Rand were dismissed by intellectuals, but they were heralded by businessmen. Hayek began to gain some respect from intellectuals when he published The Road to Serfdom in 1944. He wrote a number of scholarly books, attained formal academic positions, and earned the Nobel Prize for economics in 1974. Rand never did write scholarly works or hold a formal academic position. Her philosophy must be extracted from her essays and her fiction.

Hayek was read in college classes sooner, and to a much greater extent, than was Rand. He was viewed by intellectuals as a responsible and respected scholar, and Rand was not. His vision of anti-statism was more acceptable to intellectuals because he called for some exceptions to laissez-faire capitalism. In his writings he permitted concessions for some state interventions. In his immense and varied body of work, he touched upon a great many fields, including anthropology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, philosophy, economics, linguistics, political science, and intellectual history. During the last 25 years or so, Rand’s works have been increasingly studied by scholars. There is now an Ayn Rand Society affiliated with the American Philosophical Association and a scholarly publication devoted to the study of her ideas—The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. In addition, her writings are now being covered in college classes.

Read more.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Bhopal Chemical Spill Disaster: Who’s to Blame?

This is a good analysis of the Bhopal disaster by Stephen Hicks.
The long-term estimated death toll from the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India is about 15,000 people.
To put that in context, consider that the estimated immediate death toll from the Soviet Union’s 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is 4,000. The death toll from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear radiation leak in 2011 is zero. And the death toll from the USA’s 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident is also zero.
In the high-tech society we strive to be, it is essential that we learn the causes of disasters so that we can correct our mistakes. Technology lessens many of life’s risks, but handled badly it can add other serious risks.
So Bhopal is rightly a major case to learn from. A hazardous chemical, methyl isocyanate (MIC), used in the making of agricultural pesticides, was spilled and tragically many people died or were maimed.
Unfortunately, most reflections on Bhopal demonstrate a partial understanding or – worse – an ideologically-driven blindness to key parts of the causal story. Many sloppy journalistic accounts run like this: In the name of profit, a large American multinational corporation neglected safety; as a result, many people, especially poorer brown people, were killed and damaged, and the corporate executives involved have never been criminally prosecuted. Such accounts typically end with a call for further reparations and legal action in the name of justice.
Justice is still absolutely needed in the Bhopal case – but what is needed first is professional investigative reporting. 
Click here to read more. 

Teaching Economics Through Ayn Rand

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Karl Marx advocated terror as a means of attaining political ends

"The purposeless massacres perpetrated since the June and October events, the tedious offering of sacrifices since February and March, the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror." ~ Karl Marx

Click here for complete article

Exchange between Howard Roark and Toohey in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Ellsworth Toohey: There's the building that should have been yours. There are buildings going up all over the city which are great chances refused and given to incompetent fools. You're walking the streets while they're doing the work that you love but cannot obtain. This city is closed to you. It is I who have done it! Don't you want to know my motive?
Howard Roark: No!
Ellsworth Toohey: I'm fighting you and shall fight you in every way I can.
Howard Roark: You're free to do what you please!
Ellsworth Toohey: Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me in any words you wish.
Howard Roark: But I don't think of you!
[Roark walks away and Toohey's head slumps down]

from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If government had taken over the auto industry in 1920s...


Marx supported Black Slavery in America

Letter from Marx to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, 1846: "As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects. The only thing requiring explanation is the good side of slavery. I do not mean indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat; I mean direct slavery, the slavery of the Blacks in Surinam, in Brazil, in the southern regions of North America.

Direct slavery is as much the pivot upon which our present-day industrialism turns as are machinery, credit, etc. Without slavery there would be no cotton, without cotton there would be no modern industry. It is slavery which has given value to the colonies, it is the colonies which have created world trade, and world trade is the necessary condition for large-scale machine industry. Consequently, prior to the slave trade, the colonies sent very few products to the Old World, and did not noticeably change the face of the world. Slavery is therefore an economic category of paramount importance. Without slavery, North America, the most progressive nation, would he transformed into a patriarchal country. Only wipe North America off the map and you will get anarchy, the complete decay of trade and modern civilisation. But to do away with slavery would be to wipe America off the map. Being an economic category, slavery has existed in all nations since the beginning of the world. All that modern nations have achieved is to disguise slavery at home and import it openly into the New World"

Monday, August 10, 2015

How the Global Warming Scare Began





A great scientist named Roger Revelle had Al Gore in his class at Harvard and the Global Warming campaign was born. Revelle tried to calm things down years later, but Gore said Revelle was Senile and refused to debate. John Coleman documents the entire story and shows how tax dollars are perpetuating the Global Warming alarmist campaign even though temperatures have not risen in years and years.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dr. Leonard Peikoff ~ Debate 1984: Capitalism Versus Socialism, Which is the Moral Social System?

Quote of the Day - Goethe

"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Quotes from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

1. “Who will let you? That’s not the point. The point is who will stop me.”

2. “…But you see, I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards.”

3.“Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he’d find the answer. He’d see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He’s not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander’s delusion – prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can’t say about a single thing: ‘This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me’. Then he wonders why he’s unhappy.”

4. “To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”

5. “During his first week at school the teacher called on Gail Wynand constantly – it was sheer pleasure to her, because he always knew the answers. When he trusted his superiors and their purpose, he obeyed like a Spartan…But the force of his will was wasted: within a week he saw that he needed no effort to be first in the class. After a month the teacher stopped noticing his presence; it seemed pointless, he always knew his lesson and she had to concentrate on the slower, duller children. He sat, unflinching, through hours that dragged like chains, while the teacher repeated and chewed and rechewed, sweating to force some spark of intellect from vacant eyes and mumbling voices.”

6. “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”

7. “But Keating could never be the same when he had an audience, any audience. Something was gone. He did not know it, but he felt Roark knew; Roark’s eyes made him uncomfortable and that made him angry.”

8. “Henry Cameron: Why did you’d decide to become an architect?
Howard Roark: I didn’t know it then. But it’s because I’ve never believed in God.
Henry Cameron: Come on, talk sense.
Howard Roark: Because I love this earth. That’s all I love. I don’t like the shape of things on this earth. I want to change them.
Henry Cameron: For whom?
Howard Roark: For myself.”

9. “Rules? Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must never be done with another. No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it’s made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose.”

10. “I could die for you. But I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, live for you.”

11. “It’s easy to run to others. It’s so hard to stand on one’s own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can’t fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It’s easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It’s simple to seek substitutes for competence–such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.”

12. “He tried to explain and to convince. He knew, while he spoke, that it was useless, because his words sounded if they were hitting a vacuum. There was no such person as Mrs. Wayne Wilmot; there was only a shell containing the opinions of her friends. the picture post cards she had seen, the novels of country squires she had read; it was this that he had to address, this immateriality which could not hear him or answer, deaf and impersonal like a wad of cotton.”

13. “Mrs. Sanborn was the president of many charity organizations and this had given her an addiction to autocracy such as no other avocation could develop.”

14. “I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window – no, I don’t feel how small I am – but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.”

15. “As a matter of fact, the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind….I mean the person who has the filthy insolence to claim that he loves equally the man who made that statue of you and the man who makes a Mickey Mouse balloon to sell on the street corners.”

16. Peter: “Well, I don’t know why I should come to you, but — Howard, I’ve never said it before, but you see, I’d rather have your opinion on things than the Dean’s — I’d probably follow the Dean’s, but it’s just that yours means more to me myself, I don’t know why.

Howard: If you want my advice, Peter, you’ve made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don’t you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know? How can you let others decide for you?”

17. “He wondered whether he really liked his mother. But she was his mother and this fact was recognized by everybody as meaning automatically that he loved her, and so he took for granted that whatever he felt for her was love. He did not know whether there was any reason why he should respect her judgement. She was his mother and that was supposed to take the place of reasons.“

18. “It doesn’t say much. Only ‘Howard Roark, Architect.” But it’s like those mottos men carved over the entrance of a castle and died for. It’s a challenge in the face of something so vast and so dark, that all the pain on earth — and do you know how much suffering there is on earth? — all the pain comes from that thing you are going to face…I know that if you carry these words through to the end, it will be a victory, Howard, not just for you, but for something that should win, that moves the world — and that never wins acknowledgement.”

19. Toohey: “Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me? IN any words you wish. Nobody will ever hear us.

Howard: But I don’t think of you.”

20. “It’s doing something horrible to me. I’m beginning to hate people, Uncle Ellsworth. I’m beginning to be cruel and mean and petty in a way I’ve never been before. I expect people to be grateful to me. I…I demand gratitude. I find myself pleased when slum people bow and scrape and fawn over me. I find myself liking only those who are servile.”

21. “The Temple was to be a small building of gray limestone. Its lines were horizontal, n to the lines reaching to heaven, but the lines of the earth. It seemed to spread over the ground like arms outstretched at shoulder-height, palms down, in great, silent acceptance. It did not cling to the soil and it did not crouch under the sky. It seemed to lift the earth, and its few vertical shafts pulled the sky down. It was scaled to human high in such a manner that it did not dwarf man, but stood as a setting that made his figure the only absolute, the gauge of perfection by which all dimensions were to be judged. When a man entered the temple, he would feel space molded around him, for him, as if it had waited for his entrance, to be completed. It was a joyous place, with the joy of exhalation that must be quiet. It was a place where one would come to feel sinless and strong, to find peace of spirit never granted save by one’s own glory.”

Voltaire in a Letter to Rousseau

"I have received, sir, your new book against the human race, and I thank you for it. No one has ever been so witty as you are in trying to turn us into brutes: to read your book makes one long to go about all fours." ~ Voltaire in a Letter to Rousseau

Robert Conquest's poetry on Lenin & Stalin

“There was an old bastard named Lenin
Who did two or three million men in.
That's a lot to have done in
But where he did one in
That old bastard Stalin did ten in.”

Friday, August 7, 2015

Raymond Aron ~ Marxism is the opium of the intellectuals

“J.P. Sartre has condemned the intervention in Hungary, but he continues to see no other road to salvation but that of Socialism: this monster all spattered in blood is none the less Socialism.” ~ Raymond Aron in The Opium of the Intellectuals


Here is excerpt from a good article describing Aron's life and work:

Immediately following World War II, Paris and the rest of Western Europe was awash in intellectuals enamored with Marxism. Political scientists, economists, sociologists, and philosophers were taken with the idea that the seminal event of modernity, the event that would finally end history, had occurred in Russia in 1917. It was inevitable: the Bolsheviks had established the first Marxist state and the modern and industrializing nations of the world must soon follow suit. Among this widespread intellectual adoration of the Marxist experiment was where French scholar, university professor, and newspaper editor Raymond Aron found himself after the end of World War II. France had finally been liberated, but not, it seemed, from Marxist thought.

Aron was a rising star among the Parisian intellectuals and was no stranger to debates over Marx. Graduating top of his class from the prestigious L’Ecole Normale Supérieure, he had been surrounded by and steeped in Marxist thought which had become popular throughout the academic world. Aron respected Marx for his understanding of certain elements of industrial society and economics, but he could never bring himself to believe in what he called Marx’s “catastrophic optimism” about mankind’s socialist future. Throughout his life, he continued to hold Marx and his followers directly responsible for the brutality and oppression of communist regimes. Only liberalism, he would argue often and convincingly, would save mankind from the tyranny of communism, and he was deadly serious when he wrote, “the survival of hope depends upon the victory of the liberal communities.”

Click here.

Solzhenitsyn on the mythology of socialism

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." ~ Solzhenitsyn

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Whose property is my body ~ Mark Twain

"Whose property is my body? Probably mine. I so regard it. If I experiment with it, who must be answerable? I, not the State. If I choose injudiciously, does the State die? Oh no." ~ Mark Twain


This is how Japan Times reported the atomic bombings on August 8, 1945

Ayn Rand on State of Economics Departments in Educational Institutions

"Economics departments are dominated by Marxism, which is taken straight or on the rocks, in the form of Keynesianism." ~ Ayn Rand in Philosophy: Who Needs it (Fairness Doctrine for Education)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Seems like too many people on social media are using this technology


Marx thought war was a good thing

Marx, Sept 24, 1855: "The redeeming feature of war is that it puts a nation to the test. As exposure to the atmosphere reduces all mummies to instant dissolution, so war passes supreme judgment upon social systems that have outlived their vitality".

Click here and here 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin on Contradictions in Marx's Thoughts

The reasoning of Marx ends in absolute contradiction. Taking into account only the economic question, he insists that only the most advanced countries, those in which capitalist production has attained greatest development, are the most capable of making social revolution. These civilized countries, to the exclusion of all others, are the only ones destined to initiate and carry through this revolution. This revolution will expropriate either by peaceful, gradual, or by violent means, the present property owners and capitalists. To appropriate all the landed property and capital, and to carry out its extensive economic and political programs, the revolutionary State will have to be very powerful and highly centralized. The State will administer and direct the cultivation of the land, by means of its salaried officials commanding armies of rural workers organized and disciplined for this purpose. At the same time, on the ruins of the existing banks, it will establish a single state bank which will finance all labor and national commerce.

It is readily apparent how such a seemingly simple plan of organization can excite the imagination of the workers, who are as eager for justice as they are for freedom; and who foolishly imagine that the one can exist without the other; as if, in order to conquer and consolidate justice and equality, one could depend on the efforts of others, particularly on governments, regardless of how they may be elected or controlled, to speak and act for the people! For the proletariat this will, in reality, be nothing but a barracks: a regime, where regimented workingmen and women will sleep, wake, work, and live to the beat of a drum; where the shrewd and educated will be granted government privileges; and where the mercenary-minded, attracted by the immensity of the international speculations of the state bank, will find a vast field for lucrative, underhanded dealings.

There will be slavery within this state, and abroad there will be war without truce, at least until the “inferior” races, Latin and Slav, tired of bourgeois civilization, no longer resign themselves to the subjection of a State, which will be even more despotic than the former State, although it calls itself a People’s State.

Via: Letter to La Liberté

Monday, August 3, 2015

Selected Quotes from Thomas Sowell

"The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy."

"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today."

"Intellectuals may like to think of themselves as people who 'speak truth to power' but too often they are people who speak lies to gain power."

"One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people's motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans--anything except reason."

"I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money."

"The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Open Avowal of Slavery & Terror by Marx and Engels

"As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects. The only thing requiring explanation is the good side of slavery. I do not mean indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat; I mean direct slavery, the slavery of the Blacks in Surinam, in Brazil, in the southern regions of North America. Direct slavery is as much the pivot upon which our present-day industrialism turns as are machinery, credit, etc. … Slavery is therefore an economic category of paramount importance." ~ Karl Marx (Letter to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, December 28, 1846)

"… the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror." ~ Karl Marx ("The Victory of the Counter-Revolution in Vienna," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, November 7, 1848)

"All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm… these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character… [A general war will] wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward." ~ Friedrich Engels ("The Magyar Struggle," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, January 13, 1849)

"… only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we [Germans], jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution… there will be a struggle, an ‘inexorable life-and-death struggle,’ against those Slavs who betray the revolution; an annihilating fight and ruthless terror - not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!" ~ Friedrich Engels ("Democratic Pan-Slavism, Cont.," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, February 16, 1849)

"We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror." ~ Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels ("Suppression of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, May 19, 1849)

The Real Meaning of "Need", "Greed" and "Compassion" ~ Joseph Sobran


Stimulating Economy by Breaking One Window at a Time

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Orwell on Intellectuals

"Some ideas are so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them, for no ordinary man could be such a fool." ~ George Orwell

"Intellect is not wisdom." ~ Thomas Sowell in Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell is worth reading. In this book, Sowell takes aim at the class of people who influence our public debate, institutions, and policy.


Milton Friedman on Big Government

"When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down; when a government enterprise fails, it is expanded." ~ Milton Friedman