i wonder if our trolls were copied on the “we were wrong” memo

Way back in the history of this site, well before this Golden Age we find ourselves in now, things weren’t so pretty. As you may have heard in school, the Internet back then was, for the most part, uninhabitable and full of savages. I’m not proud of it, and I don’t talk about it often, but we fought them here. Yes, the territory we now peacefully inhabit was at one point thick with shit-throwing trolls. It was a long and bloody war, but, thankfully, God chose our side to be the victor.

For the most part, our local trolls were devotees of Any Rand. One of the more vociferous was a fellow who called himself John Galt after a character in the bible of Objectivism, Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.” Galt and his crew were, like all good Objectivists, huge and loud supporters of the Bush administration, and well outside the grasp of rational thought.

Well, imagine my surprise when I read today that one of the world’s foremost Objectivists had officially turned his back on the administration. Yes, it appears as though things have gotten that bad… The following excerpt comes from the site of Leonard Peikoff, the head of the Any Rand Institute:

…How you cast your vote in the coming election is important, even if the two parties are both rotten. In essence, the Democrats stand for socialism, or at least some ambling steps in its direction; the Republicans stand for religion, particularly evangelical Christianity, and are taking ambitious strides to give it political power.

Socialism–a fad of the last few centuries–has had its day; it has been almost universally rejected for decades. Leftists are no longer the passionate collectivists of the 30s, but usually avowed anti-ideologists, who bewail the futility of all systems. Religion, by contrast–the destroyer of man since time immemorial–is not fading; on the contrary, it is now the only philosophic movement rapidly and righteously rising to take over the government.

Given the choice between a rotten, enfeebled, despairing killer, and a rotten, ever stronger, and ambitious killer, it is immoral to vote for the latter, and equally immoral to refrain from voting at all because “both are bad.”

The survival of this country will not be determined by the degree to which the government, simply by inertia, imposes taxes, entitlements, controls, etc., although such impositions will be harmful (and all of them and worse will be embraced or pioneered by conservatives, as Bush has shown). What does determine the survival of this country is not political concretes, but fundamental philosophy. And in this area the only real threat to the country now, the only political evil comparable to or even greater than the threat once posed by Soviet Communism, is religion and the Party which is its home and sponsor.

The most urgent political task now is to topple the Republicans from power, if possible in the House and the Senate. This entails voting consistently Democratic, even if the opponent is a “good” Republican.

In my judgment, anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life–which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world.

If you hate the Left so much that you feel more comfortable with the Right, you are unwittingly helping to push the U.S. toward disaster, i.e., theocracy, not in 50 years, but, frighteningly, much sooner.

One wonders what our old trolls would have to say about this. I wish I had some kind of troll signal that I could call them all back to the site with.

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12 Comments

  1. frenchfries
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Troll Call.

  2. egpenet
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Here’s the idea … depending on the mood of the populace and certain other themes running through one’s mind … you run for office as either a Democrat (S.E. lower MI) or Republican (ex-urbs, rural, out-state) for a city, county, state, federal position … say what “plays well” and get elected.

    Now … you get prestige, salary, health care, pension, perks, gifts, travel … wowie!

    It doesn’t matter which side of “the aisle” you sit. All trolls being equal (although some trolls are more equal than others.)

    After nearly 30 years in Ypsilanti, it is still the same … and every year, the staff gets its salaries … the DDA people play musical chairs, but still get paid … the civics lectures get refined, and the profs get their increases … ho hum.

    We are caught in a major economic shift in Michigan … which will most likely last another 3-5 years. The powers that be have known that and are hoping the peasants won’t revolt in the meantime. We are treading water and it has not been easy to watch costs of services going up, while they are being whittled away.

    Hey, trolls … comb your faces and vote Democratic on Nov. 7 … go through the motions … it won’t hurt … and it may help save this state from a worse fate … government under The Soap Bubble King.

  3. ol' e cross
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    What

  4. ol' e cross
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    What

  5. Ted Glass
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I seem to recall that the Rand trolls used to go tits over tea kettle, apeshit crazy when it was suggested that a theocracy was a brewin’.

  6. Hyuckett
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Only AYN Rand trolls, please, not just any old Rand trolls.

  7. egpenet
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Oh, boy! Calvin in Switzerland … Knox in Scotland … Hank #8 in England … Luther in Germany … Flems in Holland … Heugonots jumping into the sea in France and rowing over here … Monohan in Naples (FL) … Mormons in Utah … guru flakos still running through the woods in Mendocino County … veils and burkas in the headlines … Taliban back in Afghanistan … Wahabis in Arabia … Hezbollah in Lebanon … Ayatollahs in Iran … and on … and on …

    There’s certainly enough theocracy in the world to satisfy all tastes. The world is like a giant mall of beliefs, misbeliefs, faiths, isms and voodoo to satisfy any hunger for ritual, religitainment or perversion.

    Is there no one on the planet with a reality-based vision of what is and what is really needed to help ALL people at this very moment and for the future? Our current stock of religions have failed to all but numb us to the pain. We are failing, people. We are failing ourselves and our planet. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

  8. Frank O'Connor
    Posted October 26, 2006 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Wrong again Commrade Mark!

    Leonard Peikoff is foolish to think that the only way out of the trap of two evils is to choose the lesser. The real answer is to vote for a third party so that more options are able for you to choose from in the future.

    Oh I’m sure you and your Markivites will scoff at this suggestion “A vote for a third party will be throwing your vote away!”. If your time horizon for your decision was only this election, you would be right. But what we’re talking about here is the health of democracy in this republic.

    The worst of all possible options in a democratic selected society is a two party system. Why is this so bad? Location theory provides a good example.

    Imagine if you will a small residential community that is centered along a highway. Every house is on the highway and the properties stretch along hundreds of houses wide. Now a single store wants to locate in this community to serve the residents. Where will it locate? A: If the store owners decide then it doesn’t matter, its the only store and all residents will have to go there to buy things. If the decision on where to locate is left to the people, they would probably put it in the center of the town so that it minimizes the distance of the longest trip.

    With me so far? Ok, so now if two stores want to locate to this town and the owners chose where to put them where would they go? A: both would locate beside one another at the center of town in order to capture the market that would exist between each of them and the end of town. Where would the stores be located if the people were to decide? A: At thirds along the length of the town so that it would minimize the distance of the longest trip. This is a problem, both stores (political parties) are in the middle of town, when it would be better if there was separation (in their ideologies). They become exact mirrors of one another.

    If a third store (party) was to locate in the town, it would have to choose the left or right. It would then cut into the customer base of the one store (party) and in the short term both the new store and the one affected would be in dire straights. That is, until the affected store at the center leapfroged the other center store and captured the 50% population. This would cause the other center store to move and so on until all three stores ended up at one quarter increments, equally dividing the constituency between them.

    I know my analogy is a lot to digest, but think about it and how it might apply to political parties. Look at other countries and how many have multiple parties (>2) and how vibrant their democratic institutions are. Nader, the Greens or Libertarians are probably the best hope of democracy.

    Americans like to think they invented democratic governments and to change their institutions is to tinker with a government that is the ultimate expression of liberty and freedom. Not so, time for change.

    And where the hell is my geodesic dome and militant vegitarianism that you’ve been working on MM you boleshevik?

  9. Frank O'Connor
    Posted October 26, 2006 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Wrong again Commrade Mark!

    Leonard Peikoff is foolish to think that the only way out of the trap of two evils is to choose the lesser. The real answer is to vote for a third party so that more options are able for you to choose from in the future.

    Oh I’m sure you and your Markivites will scoff at this suggestion “A vote for a third party will be throwing your vote away!”. If your time horizon for your decision was only this election, you would be right. But what we’re talking about here is the health of democracy in this republic.

    The worst of all possible options in a democratic selected society is a two party system. Why is this so bad? Location theory provides a good example.

    Imagine if you will a small residential community that is centered along a highway. Every house is on the highway and the properties stretch along hundreds of houses wide. Now a single store wants to locate in this community to serve the residents. Where will it locate? A: If the store owners decide then it doesn’t matter, its the only store and all residents will have to go there to buy things. If the decision on where to locate is left to the people, they would probably put it in the center of the town so that it minimizes the distance of the longest trip.

    With me so far? Ok, so now if two stores want to locate to this town and the owners chose where to put them where would they go? A: both would locate beside one another at the center of town in order to capture the market that would exist between each of them and the end of town. Where would the stores be located if the people were to decide? A: At thirds along the length of the town so that it would minimize the distance of the longest trip. This is a problem, both stores (political parties) are in the middle of town, when it would be better if there was separation (in their ideologies). They become exact mirrors of one another.

    If a third store (party) was to locate in the town, it would have to choose the left or right. It would then cut into the customer base of the one store (party) and in the short term both the new store and the one affected would be in dire straights. That is, until the affected store at the center leapfroged the other center store and captured the 50% population. This would cause the other center store to move and so on until all three stores ended up at one quarter increments, equally dividing the constituency between them.

    I know my analogy is a lot to digest, but think about it and how it might apply to political parties. Look at other countries and how many have multiple parties (>2) and how vibrant their democratic institutions are. Nader, the Greens or Libertarians are probably the best hope of democracy.

    Americans like to think they invented democratic governments and to change their institutions is to tinker with a government that is the ultimate expression of liberty and freedom. Not so, time for change.

    And where the hell is my geodesic dome and militant vegitarianism that you’ve been working on MM you boleshevik?

  10. Dr Cherry
    Posted October 26, 2006 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    That’s hardly trolling. Also was anyone arguing against having multiple political parties?

    The analogy would be more accurate if the store favored by the majority of residents would be able to make rules in the town and subsequently make doing business difficult for the other. The majority store would redistrict the town so they had a better chance of keeping their grip on the citizens.

    People unhappy with the more powerful store look to the secondary store but become disenfranchised with their approach so new, little stores pop up but they’re soon crushed by the majority store, because they make the rules and wish to protect their power.

    Finally World-Mart moves in to town and begins selling their product at a loss. They can do this because they have more than enough profit from the stores in other towns. Soon all the original stores are out of business and everyone has to shop at World-Mart. World-Mart now makes the rules in town.

  11. Dr Cherry
    Posted October 26, 2006 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I also don’t think it would help much if one of the employees in the little stores turned himself blue with homemade colloidal silver because he was afraid civilization would collapse over Y2K.

  12. mark
    Posted October 26, 2006 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to answer in terms of your analogy, but I’d just screw it up, so I’ll defer to Steve. (As I often do when I

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