Friday, August 18, 2006

The ballad of Mark and Nick

Grasshoppers and grasshopperettes, what do Dolly Levi and Spot have in common? And no, they aren’t both in love with Horace Vandergelder (you have to scroll down to 1969). Any guesses? Ok, Spot will tell you.

They are both matchmakers! Spot’s latest triumph in the union of accidental lovers department happened this very morning in the comments section to his post, What is it, libertarian grasshopper? It’s sort of like two bashful people who run into each other while perusing a book in the self-help section at Barnes & Noble. No, it’s exactly like that. Check out the comments to that post; they’re probably over there right now, throwing flowers at the feet of a statue of Ayn Rand. You see, these two found that they are both libertarians! [cue the lush music]

The last time Spot looked, Mark was talking about being an objectivist philosopher and Nick was discussing the nature of mankind. Nick winds up and pitches this one:

Moreover, I find it hypocritical to the extreme when the Left complains about the capture of government by private interests when they are busy giving government the vast coercive power that makes such capture so tempting to a society that is inevitably composed of bad and borderline bad people--and corporate executives who are usually correct in their claim that they owe a legal and fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder profits (in less "enlightened" corporations than Whole Foods). When the Left speaks such nonsense, it leads me to believe that its members are dangerously naive or stupid--or it suggests strongly that their arguments are merely tactical--an effort to replace those who capture government with members of their own tribe, for purposes that have destroyed economies and/or killed millions.

Objectivism, Gs and Gettes, is the invention of St. Ayn, which holds:

Objectivism holds that there is a mind-independent reality, that individuals are in contact with this reality through sensory perception, that they gain knowledge by processing the data of perception using reason or "non-contradictory identification", that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or "rational self-interest", and that the only social system consistent with such a morality is laissez-faire capitalism.

Sigmund Spot has told Spotty zhat most of zese people were brought up by ze emotionally-distant momma and poppa. Or zey have za defective empathy gene!

Nick seems to say that since we have a society of “bad and borderline bad” people, we shouldn’t have a powerful government because these bad people will take it over. Yes, there is some evidence of that happening even as we speak, but the people who wrote the Constitution had a pretty good idea about human propensities and how to restrain them. The question before the house today is how and when the ship of state will right itself. Spot doesn’t know about you, Gs and Gettes, but Spot thinks that institutions built to protect individuals and society is better than the we’re all in this by ourselves approach.

Spotty has often called libertarians social Darwinist hunter gatherers. Nick’s comment about liberal tribes capturing government in order to kill economies and people proves Spot’s point. Nick’s perspective is so lacking in human empathy that he doesn’t believe it can exist in anybody else.

Sigmund Spot’s prescription for these two is a little hardship in their lives to show them how interconnected we all are, and how mutually-dependent we are.


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