Trump Going Back To His Real Roots

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, IMMIGRATION, Labor, Media

What an excellent call Donald Trump made in deploying Stephen Bannon of Breitbart.com. It was essential for Trump to tear himself away from his slick, branding-focused family members, which I called out as a mistake in “Corey Lewandowski’s A Class Act; What About Those Who Got Him Fired?!” Ivanka is a decorative, lovely girl. Extremely bright too. But she’s a liberal. You know it. (She thinks a wage gap exists because of sex-based discrimination, whereas, as I’ve pointed out for years, were women getting less money than men for the same skill set, men would have long since prices themselves out of the market. The fact that they haven’t, indicates other variables are at play such as uninterrupted employment, professions chosen (engineering as opposed education), etc.


Trump in CHARLOTTE, Speaking for the Forgotten; Can Americans Be DREAMERS?:


The Media Complex Reacts:


The Old Right Reacts:


The Voice Of The Voiceless:


America First, Not Other Nations, Not illegal Aliens:


Change Agent:


As Opposed to Same Agent:

Ayn Rand, David Cross, And Hypocrisy

BAB's A List, Communism, Hollywood, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Objectivism, Socialism

AYN RAND, DAVID CROSS, AND HYPOCRISY
By Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Ph.D.

Ilana Mercer recently made me aware of some off-the-wall [YouTube, sorry, couldn’t resist MJ] comments by stand-up comedian David Cross on Ayn Rand. I’ll just have to chalk up his, uh, misunderstanding to the fact that he’s a comedian, and not somebody who has actually studied Rand’s corpus. On his new Netflix special, he makes the following statement:

Let’s be honest, that’s what makes America weak, is empathy. When we care about those less fortunate than ourselves, that[‘s] what brings us down. . . . Ask Ayn Rand—I believe you can still find her haunting the public housing she died in while on Social Security and Medicare.

Now, it’s not my intention to simply defend Ayn Rand; she did a good job of that when she was alive, and her writings have stood the test of time, whatever one thinks about her position on this or that particular issue. But Cross is just all crossed up. About so many things.

First, let’s clear up one grand myth: Ayn Rand never lived in public housing. I recently queried Rand biographer, Anne Heller, who wrote the 2009 book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made. Heller could provide us with every address Rand ever lived at, and not a single one of them corresponds to a public housing project. But even if Rand lived in the Marlboro Housing Projects in Brooklyn, who cares? More on this, in a moment.

Now, it is true that Rand did collect Social Security and Medicare. Ayn Rand Institute-affiliated writer, Onkar Ghate, addresses the so-called hypocrisy of this fact about Ayn Rand’s life in his essay, “The Myth About Ayn Rand and Social Security.” Ghate reminds us that Rand opposed,

Every “redistribution” scheme of the welfare state. Precisely because Rand views welfare programs like Social Security as legalized plunder, she thinks the only condition under which it is moral to collect Social Security is if one “regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism” (emphasis hers). The seeming contradiction that only the opponent of Social Security has the moral right to collect it dissolves, she argues, once you recognize the crucial difference between the voluntary and the coerced. Social Security is not voluntary. Your participation is forced through payroll taxes, with no choice to opt out even if you think the program harmful to your interests. If you consider such forced “participation” unjust, as Rand does, the harm inflicted on you would only be compounded if your announcement of the program’s injustice precludes you from collecting Social Security.

Rand felt the same way about any number of government programs, including government scholarships, and such. In reality, Rand got a free education at the University of Petrograd in the Soviet Union, a newly-minted communist state; next to that, collecting Social Security is “a mere bag of shells,” as Ralph Kramden would put it. But, you see, that’s the whole issue, isn’t it? Rand was born in the Soviet Union, and even that state wasn’t “pure communism,” as Marx envisioned it; for Marx, communism could only arise out of an advanced stage of capitalism, which, in his quasi-utopian imagination, would solve the problem of scarcity. The point is that there is not a single country on earth or in any historical period that has ever fit the description of a pure “-ism”; to this extent, Rand was completely correct to characterize her moral vision of “capitalism” as an “unknown ideal.”

But there is a second point that is lost on critics who accuse Rand of hypocrisy; there is not a single person on earth who isn’t born into a specific historical context, a particular place and time. At any period in history, we live in a world that provides us with a continuum of sorts, enabling us to navigate among the “mixed” elements of the world’s “mixed” economies, that is, those economies that have various mixtures of markets and state regimentation. But as that world becomes more interconnected, the destructiveness of the most powerful politico-economic institutions and processes extend in ripple effects across the globe. And as F. A. Hayek never tired of saying, the more political power comes to dominate the world economies, the more political power becomes the only power worth having… one of the reasons “why the worst get on top.” What Hayek meant, of course, is that in such a system, those who are most adept at using political power (the power of coercion) for their own benefit tend to rise to the top, leaving the vast majority of us struggling to make a buck. The “road to serfdom” is a long one, but serfdom is among us; it comes in the form of confiscatory taxation and expropriation to sustain an interventionist welfare state at home and a warfare state abroad.

I have always believed that context is king. And given the context in which we live, everyone of us has to do things we don’t like to do. Even anarchists, those who by definition believe that the state itself lacks moral legitimacy, can’t avoid walking down taxpayer-funded, government-subsidized sidewalks or travel on taxpayer-funded government-subsidized roads and interstate highways, or taxpayer-funded government-subsidized railroads, or controlled airways.

Then there’s the issue of money. You know, whether of the paper, coin, or plastic variety. There are many on both the libertarian “right” and the new “left” who have argued that the historical genesis of the Federal Reserve System was a way of consolidating the power of banks, allowing banks (and their capital-intensive clients) to benefit from the inflationary expansion of the money supply. This has also had the added effect of paying for the growth of the bureaucratic welfare state to control the poor and the warfare state to expand state and class expropriation of resources across the globe. And it has led to an endless cycle of boom and bust. And yet, there isn’t a person in the United States of whatever political persuasion who cannot avoid using money printed or coined by the Fed. Even among those on the left, so-called “limousine liberals” (a pejorative phrase used to describe people of the “left-liberal” persuasion who are hypocrites by definition) or those who advocate “democratic socialism” of the Sanders type, or those who advocate outright communism, own private property and buy their goods and services with money from other private property owners. It seems that there is not a single person on earth of any political persuasion who isn’t a hypocrite, according to the “logic” of David Cross.

Ever the dialectician, I believe that given the context, the only way of attempting even partial restitution from a government that regulates everything from the boardroom to the bedroom is to milk the inner contradictions of the system.

But some individuals can’t get restitution, because they were victims of another form of government coercion: the military draft. Ayn Rand believed that the draft was involuntary servitude, the ultimate violation of individual rights, based on the premise that the government owned your life and could do with it anything it pleased, including molding its draftees into killing machines, and sending them off to fight in undeclared illegitimate wars like those in Korea and Vietnam (both of which Rand opposed). What possible restitution is available to those who were murdered in those wars, or even to those who survived them, but who were irreparably damaged, physically and/or psychologically, by their horrific experiences on the killing fields?

The draft is no longer with us, and David Cross should be thanking that good ol’ hypocrite Ayn Rand for the influence she had on the ending of that institution. Such people as Hank Holzer, Joan Kennedy Taylor, and Martin Anderson were among those who mounted the kind of intellectual and legal challenge to conscription that ultimately persuaded then President Richard M. Nixon to end the military draft.

And yet, Rand’s taxes were certainly used to pay for the machinery of conscription and for the machinery of war; does this make her a hypocrite too, or should she have just refused to pay taxes and gone to prison? Yeah, that would have been productive. Perhaps she could have authored more works of fiction or nonfiction anthologies, chock-full of essays on epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, politics, economics, and culture from Rikers Island. Yeah, then Cross would have been correct: Rand surely would have been living in the worst public housing imaginable.

Thanks for giving me a chuckle, Mr. Cross.

Postscript I: I was just made aware of a very detailed essay on the subject of “Ayn Rand, Social Security and the Truth,” at the Facebook page of The Moorfield Storey Institute.

Postscript #2: Thanks to Ilana Mercer, who alerted me to Cross’s “comedy,” and for reprinting this post on her own “Barely a Blog.” We’re obviously compadres; a “Notablog” and a “Barely a Blog” are close enough to be cousins. [Soulmates, for sure.—ILANA)

********
Dr. Chris Matthew Sciabarra was born in Brooklyn, New York, 1960. He is the author of the Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy that began with Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, continued with Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, and culminates with Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism. He is the founding coeditor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. He is also the author of two monographs: Ayn Rand: Her Life and Thought and Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation. Sciabarra earned all three college degrees from New York University. He graduated in June 1981, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in History (with honors), Politics, and Economics. His major undergraduate fields were American History, Economics (Austrian Economics/Political Economy), and Politics (Political Theory).
He earned his M.A. in Politics (with a concentration in political theory) in 1983. In June 1988, he earned his Ph.D. with distinction in political philosophy, theory, and methodology. He passed his qualifying examinations and oral defense in both his major and minor areas (American Politics; Comparative Politics) with distinction in Spring 1984. His dissertation, defended with distinction in Spring 1988, directed by Bertell Ollman, was entitled, “Toward a Radical Critique of Utopianism: Dialectics and Dualism in the works of Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Karl Marx.”

UPDATED: Rotten Journalism On Fox News About Ugly Americans Abroad

America, Crime, Ethics, Etiquette, Journalism, Sport

The TV had been on for an hour, and Fox News journalist Martha McCullum had yet to recount the “The Five Ws” of journalism vis-a-vis the case of “American swimmer Ryan Lochte being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.”

What happened?
Who did that?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did that happen?

Then McCullum, (still infinitely superior to the put-upon Gretchen Carlson) and her Fox New friends, proceeded to make light of the alleged behavior engaged in by US athletes while representing their country abroad, at the Olympic games in Rio.

Boys will be boys was the angle. At 32, Lochte is considered a boy.

How libertine.

The alleged facts via the AP:

A Brazilian police official told The Associated Press that American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.

The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, spoke on the condition of anonymity Thursday because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing probe.

He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located. One of the swimmers tried but failed to open the door of an outside bathroom.

A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.

The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.

According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. After a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount of money and then left.

The official says that swimmers Conger and Bentz, who were pulled off a plane going back to the United States late Wednesday, told police that the robbery story had been fabricated.

Lochte first lied about the robbery to his mother, Ileana Lochte, who spoke with reporters, the police official said. That led to news coverage of the incident and prompted police attention. …

UPDATE (8/18): The New York Post catches up with me:

Ryan Lochte open his mouth. And when you hear what comes tumbling out, it all makes perfect sense. … That’s the worst part of what Lochte and his stable of stumble-bumbling swimmer pals have done the past few days, now that it’s apparent that whatever might have happened to them late one night — actually, early one morning — in Rio, it wasn’t exactly the way Lochte described it the first time around. In fact, it seems apparent that Lochte and his cohorts in chaos — Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, all swimmers representing the US in a decidedly different way than Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps did — were using the old “robbed-at-gunpoint” chestnut as cover for what was apparently a gas station encounter with a security guard and, quite hilariously, a bathroom door. …

Trump’s Most Impassioned Address So Far: Law-‘N-Order

Crime, Democrats, Donald Trump, Elections, Law, Republicans

From West Bend, Wisconsin, Donald Trump spoke about, “How to make communities safe again from crime and lawlessness.” He remarked that “Law and order must be restored. Violence is an assault on all. The main victims of the Milwaukee unrest are law-abiding members of the African-American community. There is no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct. Just like Hillary Clinton is against the miners; she is against the police, too:


“The Opening Statement” to “The Trump Revolution” already credits Trump with “fumigating some serious snake pits”: Media Complex, Party Complex, Pseudo-Conservative Complex.

My favorite section is this one; it’s pretty much the gist of “The Opening Statement” to my Trump Revolution:

When we talk about the insider, who are we talking about? It’s the comfortable politicians looking out for their own interests. It’s the lobbyists who know how to insert that perfect loophole into every bill. It’s the financial industry knows how to regulate their competition out of existence. The insiders also include the media executives, anchors and journalists in Washington, Los Angeles, and New York City, who are part of the same failed status quo and want nothing to change.
Every day you pick up a newspaper, or turn on the nightly news, and hear about how some banker or some Washington insider says they oppose our campaign. Or some encrusted old politician says they oppose our campaign. Or some big time lobbyist says they oppose our campaign.
I wear their opposition as a badge of honor. Because it means I am fighting for REAL change, not just partisan change. I am fighting – all of us across the country are fighting – for peaceful regime change in our own country. The media-donor-political complex that’s bled this country dry has to be replaced with a new government of, by and for the people.
The leadership class in Washington D.C., of which Hillary Clinton has been a member for thirty years, has abandoned the people of this country.
I am going to give the people their voice back.
Think about it. The people opposing our campaign are the same people who have left our border open and let innocent people suffer as a result.
The people opposing our campaign are the same people who have led us into one disastrous foreign war after another.
The people opposing our campaign are the same people who lied to us about one trade deal after another.
Aren’t you tired of a system that gets rich at your expense?
Aren’t you tired of big media, big businesses, and big donors rigging the system to keep your voice from being heard?
Are you ready for change?
Are you ready for leadership that puts you, the American people, first? That puts your country first? That puts your family first?
Let’s talk about what this means for the inner cities of America.
It’s time to break through the television noise, the entrenched interests. I understand that a lot of powerful people in our political system – a lot of people who’ve created our problems – will lose a lot of their contracts, and their special gigs, if African-American voters, and all minority voters, support my campaign.