Wednesday, September 18, 2013

THERE ARE A FEW FOLKS I'D LIKE FORBES'S RANDIAN TROLL TO MEET

I really don't want to waste my time doing a thorough rebuttal of this bit of Forbes clickbait -- "Give Back? Yes, It's Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%" by overgrown Ayn Rand fanboy Harry Binswanger. Binswanger says we should exempt anyone who earns a million bucks a year from income taxes; hr wants the Congressional Medal of Honor to go to the year's top earner. He's trolling us, and I won't rise to the bait. But I'll briefly address Binswanger's worldview, mostly in images.

He writes:
Let's begin by stripping away the collectivism. "The community" never gave anyone anything. The "community," the "society," the "nation" is just a number of interacting individuals, not a mystical entity floating in a cloud above them. And when some individual person -- a parent, a teacher, a customer -- "gives" something to someone else, it is not an act of charity, but a trade for value received in return....

All proper human interactions are win-win; that's why the parties decide to engage in them.... Voluntary trade, without force or fraud, is the exchange of value for value, to mutual benefit. In trade, both parties gain.
In response to that, all I've got is this:





And this:



A team of strangers became instant heroes Monday when they came to the rescue of a worker caught in a building fire in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

The man was reportedly refinishing floors in a fifth-floor apartment when the room burst into flames. As he straddled a windowsill, neighbors clamored to help.

Victor Peralta told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that the man looked like he was about to jump.

"He was panicked," Peralta said. "I told him, 'Hold on. Don't do it.'"

Rosendo Lopez, a building super, brought a ladder to the fire escape and after the worker made his way to a fourth-floor window directly below, a group of men created a bridge with the ladder and helped him across.

"Soon as they got close enough to grab ... we just tackled him on to the fire escape," Frank Gonzalez said.
And this:





Binswanger? I don't get him. There are sociopaths to whom this happens naturally, but I really don't understand why anyone chooses to try to live without a human soul.

9 comments:

Never Ben Better said...

Go look back in the comments thread on the September 14th posting about NAGR at what Daniel Jones posted -- paragraph after paragraph of libertarian exaltation of property rights over all. Try to count how many times the word "property" pops up in what he says.

There's your answer, Steve, to the question you close with: Property is God, property is the ultimate good, and society, law, government -- all collective structures of human existence -- are valid only insofar as they enhance the individual's amassing of property. Human beings have no value beyond their utility in garnering and protecting hoards.

4518fbbe-34bd-11e0-a015-000bcdcb8a73 said...

"Yes, but those people CHOSE to help people nearby. Commendable, I suppose, but in the end, was society better off? Only through the great efforts of the 1% can people have iPads and Viagra; all this petty 'helping others' for free is just feel good narcissism! Rand! Objectivism! I am TOO a philosopher, damn it! "

Blah blah, we can't get Binswanger a ticket to Sealand fast enough, if you ask me.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Binswangers ideas would easily have found traction amongst the barons of feudal Europe. The 99% are chattel slaves. He and other libertarians want a neo-feudalist America in which the working class is reduced to corporate serfdom.

Victor said...

I don't think it's a matter of choice, Steve.

Imo, sociopaths, like gay people, are born, not made.
Mostly nature, not nurture.

And I suppose that "Sociopath Reeducation Camps' would have the same success as "Gay Reeducation Camps."

And you can't pray away that sociopathy either.

Danp said...

Voluntary trade, without force or fraud, is the exchange of value for value, to mutual benefit. In trade, both parties gain.

Most trades include one party who needs and one who merely wants. It is truly naive to think that most trade is "voluntary". It's not a win-win situation when your choice is which shark to let eat you.

Mike said...

1) The idea of "libertarianism" didn't exist historically before the 19th century - i.e., before governments lifted society out of Hobbes' "state of nature".
2) The vast majority of libertarians are white, male, and middle class or above - i.e., people of the most privileged class currently and (especially) historically.

It never ceases to amaze me how libertarians are either completely unaware of those facts or think they aren't significant.

Never Ben Better said...

Try reading some libertarian fiction sometime, Mike, and you'll see that the heroes and heroines are uniformly vastly superior to the losers and failures all around them -- natural leaders, brilliant thinkers, ferociously productive and successful at whatever they set their hands to -- you know, supermen and superwomen, and thus totally entitled to triumph over the common herd.

That's what libertarians think of themselves as, and why they feel utterly entitled to everything they've got.

marindenver said...

I saw that rancid piece yesterday - I almost thought it was satire. Seriously when he said anyone making more than $1M should be exempt from income taxes I laughed outright. Because how are those feckers going to feel about pulling money out of their own pockets to maintain infrastructure and basic services when the tax revenues are inadequate to take care of it? Anyone know what we did with the tumbrels again? Could use some pitchforks and guillotines too.

I fought the lawn. And the lawn won. said...

Try reading some libertarian fiction sometime, Mike, and you'll see that the heroes and heroines are uniformly vastly superior to the losers and failures all around them -- natural leaders, brilliant thinkers, ferociously productive and successful at whatever they set their hands to -- you know, supermen and superwomen, and thus totally entitled to triumph over the common herd.

Indeed, I was thinking this same thing the other day of conservatives: the first thing you've got to understand about them is how they feel superior to minorities.

that's a big explanation of why their true allegience is to Authority and not Equality.

As somebody once said, everything that was ever done to improve the lot of the common people was done despite the determined opposition of conservatives.