Capitalism Magazine has a post by Leonard Peikoff giving his reasoning on how Objectivists should vote this fall. I discovered this via Gus Van Horn who has his own ideas on this.
Evidently, Mr. Peikoff advises everyone to vote for Democrats on the ground that the left has no real power or appeal anymore and is not as dangerous as the religious right which has the appearance of having ideas on its side even though it doesn't. Gus also points to the contrary arguement by Robert Tracinski who advises everyone vote against Democrats and for Republicans. There are links to other sites on this subject as well.
My own incling is to do both. That is, to vote for some of each in order to achieve some degree of gridlock in the hope that neither side will achieve enough power to ram its agenda down our throats. The left can't wait to bring censorship to this country and will do so if given the power even if only peacemeal. They need censorship in order to mute the religious right and conservative ideas. In my opinion, the right would oppose this but only up to a point. They would be willing to compromise because they want censorship for their own reasons.
It's hard to predict which poison is most fatal. Both sides are appealing to different receptors. The left appeals to the public's feelings under the guise of an unprincipled practicality, pragmatism, which means, it's intelligent to rely on one's feelings to guide one's actions instead of principles. The right appeals to both the mind and the feelings by pointing out that a morality is a set of principles (which it is) which is derived from an all knowing and all powerful god, which means, if you join my religion you can't go wrong.
So the left says you must sacrifice yourself to the whims of the common good as a matter of practicality. The right says you must sacrifice yourself to the whims of god as a matter of principle. In this light, I would have to say that for Objectivists, the religious right is the more formidable foe and Peikoff is right--Objectivists should not be voting for Republicans.
Peikoff is saying that the Democratic poison may be toxic but the Republican poison will be fatal. In a sense we are building the ovens into which we will be required to leap when the inevitable sacrifices are demanded. Therefore we must elect the least competent builders we can find and hope that allows enough time for the medicine, Objectivism, to work. The least competent of course are Democrats.
Naturally, I leave it to my readers to sort this out for themselves. But I hope the links above and my two cents have helped in some way.
Another post on this subject will be forthcomming.
It's good that you emphasize censorship, because the most pressing task for us right now is disseminating the ideas of Ayn Rand. At present, the Democrats are far more inclined to try to shut up ideas they do not like.
Recently, prominent Democrats sent a letter to ABC about their movie, "The Path to 911." The letter was a veiled threat to revoke ABC broadcasting license if they didn't change the movie. The Dems are perfectly happy to use government power to shut up ideas they do not like. Neal Boortz fears the Dems will use the Fairness Doctrine against right-wing talk radio if Air America fails.
The left no longer has confidence in the power of reason, but they do believe in force. Political correctness, violent demonstrations and attempts to shut up right-wing speakers at colleges are all examples of the culture of intimidation that replaces free thought on the left. The Democrats show elements of this totalitarianism.
I can't vote Democrat, not yet. But I must admit, I'm close. A Republican presidential candidate like McCain, who worships service to the collective, would probably push me to vote Democrat.
Religion has been around for thousands of years and it only yeilds when and to the extent a rational philosophy rises enough to provide an alternative.The dems are nowhere close to being that alternative and would only act as an advertizement to whatever the rebublicans offer in 2008. Just as the left blames any failure on the right on capitalism, the right will blame any failures on left on secularism. Some will say they will blame socialism also but most on the right don't seem to mind growing govt as the last 6 years shows. Can you imagine what would happen if the possible recesion(more possible if the dems win) next year were to happen while the dems were in control. I don't want to give those religious people a chance to say " I told you so", not because I don't want to be wrong but because I don't want them to feel more right.Imagine it-"the recesion happened because we voted in the party of sin, and it made god angry."
Obviously I am not eager to vote republican either but the point is that I don't see how voting democrat helps the situation in any way. I actually agree with Peikoff's reasoning 100% but I am not convinced of the conclusion. You can say religion is a threat, but it is not a threat that can be overcome by voting unless one of the choices can oppose the threat at least somewhat. Therefore I don't see how voting dem is the only proper choice for objectivists.
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