Friday, November 6, 2009

Why justifying Capitalism on religious grounds fails - Part C

This is part of a great article by Ayn Rand: “Conservatism: An Obituary,” from the book: "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal".

There are three interrelated arguments used by today’s “conservatives” to justify capitalism, which can best be designated as: the argument from faith—the argument from tradition—the argument from depravity.

Sensing their need of a moral base, many “conservatives” decided to choose religion as their moral justification; they claim that America and capitalism are based on faith in God. Politically, such a claim contradicts the fundamental principles of the United States: in America, religion is a private matter which cannot and must not be brought into political issues.

Intellectually, to rest one’s case on faith means to concede that reason is on the side of one’s enemies—that one has no rational arguments to offer. The “conservatives’” claim that their case rests on faith, means that there are no rational arguments to support the American system, no rational justification for freedom, justice, property, individual rights, that these rest on a mystic revelation and can be accepted only on faith—that in reason and logic the enemy is right, but men must hold faith as superior to reason.

Consider the implications of that theory. While the communists claim that they are the representatives of reason and science, the “conservatives” concede it and retreat into the realm of mysticism, of faith, of the supernatural, into another world, surrendering this world to communism. It is the kind of victory that the communists’ irrational ideology could never have won on its own merits . . . .

Now consider the second argument: the attempt to justify capitalism on the ground of tradition. Certain groups are trying to switch the word “conservative” into the exact opposite of its modern American usage, to switch it back to its nineteenth-century meaning, and to put this over on the public. These groups declare that to be a “conservative” means to uphold the status quo, the given, the established, regardless of what it might be, regardless of whether it is good or bad, right or wrong, defensible or indefensible. They declare that we must defend the American political system not because it is right, but because our ancestors chose it, not because it is good, but because it is old . . . .

The argument that we must respect “tradition” as such, respect it merely because it is a “tradition,” means that we must accept the values other men have chosen, merely because other men have chosen them—with the necessary implication of: who are we to change them? The affront to a man’s self-esteem, in such an argument, and the profound contempt for man’s nature are obvious.

This leads us to the third—and the worst—argument, used by some “conservatives”: the attempt to defend capitalism on the ground of man’s depravity.

This argument runs as follows: since men are weak, fallible, non-omniscient and innately depraved, no man may be entrusted with the responsibility of being a dictator and of ruling everybody else; therefore, a free society is the proper way of life for imperfect creatures. Please grasp fully the implications of this argument: since men are depraved, they are not good enough for a dictatorship; freedom is all that they deserve; if they were perfect, they would be worthy of a totalitarian state.

Dictatorship—this theory asserts—believe it or not, is the result of faith in man and in man’s goodness; if people believed that man is depraved by nature, they would not entrust a dictator with power. This means that a belief in human depravity protects human freedom—that it is wrong to enslave the depraved, but would be right to enslave the virtuous. And more: dictatorships—this theory declares—and all the other disasters of the modern world are man’s punishment for the sin of relying on his intellect and of attempting to improve his life on earth by seeking to devise a perfect political system and to establish a rational society. This means that humility, passivity, lethargic resignation and a belief in Original Sin are the bulwarks of capitalism. One could not go farther than this in historical, political, and psychological ignorance or subversion. This is truly the voice of the Dark Ages rising again—in the midst of our industrial civilization.

The cynical, man-hating advocates of this theory sneer at all ideals, scoff at all human aspirations and deride all attempts to improve men’s existence. “You can’t change human nature,” is their stock answer to the socialists. Thus they concede that socialism is the ideal, but human nature is unworthy of it; after which, they invite men to crusade for capitalism—a crusade one would have to start by spitting in one’s own face. Who will fight and die to defend his status as a miserable sinner? If, as a result of such theories, people become contemptuous of “conservatism,” do not wonder and do not ascribe it to the cleverness of the socialists.

(Taken from The Ayn Rand Lexicon)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why justifying Capitalism on religious grounds fails - Addition

This is a video by Yaron Brook, answering the question: "If Altruism and Christian ethics of altruism undercut the defense of Capitalism, how is it possible that the founding fathers, which were responsible for the birth of Capitalism, came up with the declaration of independence?"

To hear the rest of the questions following this lecture, start from Question 1 and follow the links to the follow-up videos.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So called: "Pro-life"

I don't know when I heard a bigger piece of crap wrapped in such a nice envelope.

There is nothing "pro-life" about those who seek to prohibit abortion. There is nothing pro-life about destroying the life and liberty of women for the sake of a collection of some cells.

"Destroying life? what is life-destroying about being forced to have a baby?"

Being forced into anything is life-destroying in varying degrees. But having a baby is a life changing decision. It has implications for the parent's entire life. A baby takes resources to raise: time-wise, emotional and financial. It DOES change the whole course of life for a woman or a couple. The so called "pro-life" do not seem to care about that. To them life means; the metabolism of a few cells, not something insignificant like an individual's actual life, happiness and goals.

Life is holy, and what does that mean? That women be treated as breeding cows. The sanctity of life is wonderful... which is why we need to load women on wagons, chain them to a metal bar at a factory and bring males to impregnate them. Done with one? Off to the second one!
Why not? "Pro-life" people think they have a right to dictate to a woman what she should do with her body and life. Why not take the sanctity of life to the next stage?

I have no words to describe how disgusted I am with the use of the words "pro-life" for such deep a disrespect for human beings.

Anti-abortionists often use the image of an embryo put into a blender. "What a horrible thing to do to an innocent baby" they say. "You're a murderer!".
How do you like the image of women brought in the herds to breed new humans?

One who does not value and respect the life of an adult cannot claim to value the life of a potential human being.

Call your irrational, conformity-minded, religious-dogma, feeling-driven ideas of yours by what they are. Don't call it "pro-life".

How can the organs of an organism cooperate so well?

I had an interesting thought about living things. We tend to think of living things as a single entity composed of "parts", each ...