About theartfuldilettante

The Artful Dilettante is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and a graduate of Penn State University. He is a lover of liberty and a lifelong and passionate student of the same. He is voracious reader of books on the Enlightenment and the American colonial and revolutionary periods. He is a student of libertarian and Objectivist philosophies. He collects revolutionary war and period currency, books, and newspapers. He is married and the father of one teenage son. He is kind, witty, generous to a fault, and unjustifiably proud of himself. He is the life of the party and an unparalleled raconteur.

Ayn Rand: Quote of the Day

There are two different kinds of subjectivism, distinguished by their answers to the question: whose consciousness creates reality? Kant rejected the older of these two, which was the view that each man’s feelings create a private universe for him. Instead, Kant ushered in the era of social subjectivism—the view that it is not the consciousness of individuals, but of groups, that creates reality. In Kant’s system, mankind as a whole is the decisive group; what creates the phenomenal world is not the idiosyncrasies of particular individuals, but the mental structure common to all men.

Later philosophers accepted Kant’s fundamental approach, but carried it a step further. If, many claimed, the mind’s structure is a brute given, which cannot be explained—as Kant had said—then there is no reason why all men should have the same mental structure. There is no reason why mankind should not be splintered into competing groups, each defined by its own distinctive type of consciousness, each vying with the others to capture and control reality.

The first world movement thus to pluralize the Kantian position was Marxism, which propounded a social subjectivism in terms of competing economic classes. On this issue, as on many others, the Nazis follow the Marxists, but substitute race for class.

The Ominous Parallels

Leonard Peikoff,

People Are Getting the Government — and Culture — They Deserve

My response to someone online who said people are innocent victims and in no way responsible for the decline of culture, civilization and freedom:

Wrong!

There is a WEALTH of information and there are better ideas (Ayn Rand, Henry Hazlitt, Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Freidman, on and on) available than ever before on politics, government, individualism, economics, culture and philosophy. People — most people — are simply not interested.

We are in a state similar to the culture of Germany just before Hitler’s rise to power. On our present course, what’s coming will NOT be pretty. If you think Nazi Germany was bad, consider the possibilities of a WORLD totalitarian regime based on medical and green fascism combined with neo-Marxist ideology. We will see the suffering, and possibly deaths, of billions this time, not merely millions. Most simply yawn and look for their freebie school tuition or their latest Netflix series.

People (most of them) are clamoring for dictatorship, and wallowing in their own ignorance. The COVID era showed us all that the vast majority will knuckle under for just about anything, just so they can fit in. You can’t blame this on a school system alone. There is enough freedom to question what we’re indoctrinated with, but the fact remains that 70-80 percent of us will not question, and will not THINK.

Sure, they are victims and honestly ignorant in some respects. The government and the wider culture are dominated by sociopaths who victimize people; it’s what they do. But we also permit and even encourage ALL of it. By “we” I mean the vast majority of us, including those of us who remain silent out of fear of upsetting our leftist cohorts or neighbors.

Victims? Sometimes. But in more respects, this is inexcusable. If any rational historians exist in the future, they will be horrified by what most of us squandered. I am sick of excuses for the masses. To paraphrase George Carlin, the masses are idiots.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Use Better Judgment With Alcohol, Substances

I recently wrote an article saying that alcoholism and substance abuse are problem behaviors, not diseases. A disease, I wrote, is something that can only be stopped by passive submission to medical intervention such as surgery or some sort of pill. A problem behavior, on the other hand, is something that can only stop – with or without outside help – once one commits to stopping.

I knew this simple yet obvious concept would strike a few nerves, and indeed it did. One irate reader wrote: “I find it disturbing that your opinion of addiction is put forth so aggressively when it is in fact so uninformed and narrow-minded. Your argument is based on what “a number of emails affirmed that addicts buy into political correctness” and they are “waiting for a promised fix that will never happen.” Where are your sources for this profound knowledge you are sharing here? Who do you know that promised a FIX, you? Believe me, they better than anyone know there is no FIX! The idea that addicts “use” the medical, or rather physical component of their disease as an “excuse” to continue abusing is ludicrous.

I’ve been writing this column in the Delaware Wave for over 17 years, and  these sorts of responses often “quote” things that I never even wrote.  I never said there’s a “fix.” This responder never read the entire article. It’s an occupational hazard for any writer. What I did write was that the only fix is the substance-abusing person, not some external agent. Even daily visits to AA or NA amount to only an hour or two. The person with the problem is still living with him- or herself 24/7. I also did not write that all addicts use the medical model of addiction as an excuse. Sadly, some therapists and/or doctors do, because of their ideology. But that has nothing to do with facts, reason or science.

The vast majority of addicts, in my experience, actually do not like this “disease” model. The writer above describes herself as a psychotherapist (yikes!) with multiple degrees. She offers these as evidence to counter the logic and facts I describe. But none of that alters the fact that nobody is putting the substance into the addict’s body other than the addict himself. If this isn’t a choice, then what is it?

The writer calls it “narrow minded” to place the addict in charge of his or her own recovery. I call it cruel and inaccurate to label addiction a disease. When you finally admit that you’re doing the damage to yourself, then you don’t have to look at yourself as a victim. There are steps you can take. No, it’s not easy. But many people who stop drinking or drugging have, in fact, attained and maintained their sobriety. They are to be congratulated.

Yes, I’m placing the blame for the problem on the person who engages in the self-destructive behavior. But by the same logic, I give lots of credit on those who save themselves. The writer’s view of “You can’t do it; let someone else take care of you,” is narrow minded, inhibiting and frankly wrong.

There’s no proof that brain chemistry forces anyone to put anything into one’s body. The brain sends us signals, and it’s true that the brains of some people process alcohol. But the brain cannot force you to pick up a glass or a syringe. If this were true, nobody would be able to stop their behaviors – though millions of substance abusers have done just that.

How can a “disease” be cured without medical intervention? Talk therapy, AA/NA, rehab programs, etc. have helped many, but these are not medical interventions. In fact many people stop without any non-medical interventions. In my experience, those who are serious about quitting neither want nor expect someone to do it for them. They might want someone to coach or guide them, but they understand that it’s ultimately up to them to make the commitment to not just stop, but to live sober and purposeful lives after they do.

Michael J. Hurd, Life’s is a Beach

Is Biden Evil, or Merely a Puppet? He’s BOTH

Biden is the mouthpiece for rampant irrationality. He’s a puppet, and he’s just reading the lines he’s given, but — at least when he’s lucid — he’s undiluted evil. He’s an indication of just how great the evil we’re up against really is. This evil puts out Biden as its leader, someone who was a ridiculous buffoon even before he came down with dementia. It’s their way of saying, “We can do whatever we want to you — even with both hands tied behind our backs.”

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

What is an Individualist ?

An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.

An individualist is a man who says: “I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”

— Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged

Trump Americans Need Their Own Party

Tucker Carlson’s interview with former Republican US Representative Steve King explains how Washington really works, and it is not according to campaign slogans. https://vdare.com/posts/instead-of-framing-politicians-with-strippers-it-s-now-white-supremacy

The interview will help Trump Americans understand that no representation of them is coming from the Republican Party, not on immigration or anything else. Trump himself was easily rolled by the Establishment. Trump had no idea what he was up against and no staff able to clue him in and help him deal with it. The Republican Establishment supported the lie that the 2020 presidential election was free of vote fraud and accepted the election fraud as the price of getting rid of Trump. Do not confuse Trump supporters with the Republican Party. They stand for different things. Kevin McCarthy will be a worse Speaker of the House for Trump Supporters than Nancy Pelosi.

Trump supporters have no future in the Republican Party, which is cemented to the Establishment. Trump supporters need to withdraw in mass and form a new party. It is time for the Republican Party to be discarded. Instead of trying to operate within the Republican Party, Trump should offer his supporters a new party. If they don’t follow him, they will have sealed their own doom.

Both Tucker Carlson and Steve King missed the real reason US Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, helped the New York Times frame US Rep. King, a principled conservative, as a racist. It wasn’t the three or four words that the presstitutes took out of context and used to concoct a “white supremacist” issue. It was Rep. King’s defense of Western civilization. Western civilization is white civilization. To defend it is to defend white people. To defend white people, whom the New York Times 1619 Project labels racist, is racist. Therefore Rep. King is a racist because he defends Western civilization.

This shows the deadly damage that has been inflicted on Western civilization by its own intellectuals, media, universities and schools, and politicians of both parties. We have reached the point that we cannot defend our own civilization, our own existence, without being demonized. Such a civilization is dead, a subject for archaeologists.

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)

America is a Constitutional Republic

“The ideal of a constitutional republic is individual liberty. In this century, great strides have been made toward the goal of subverting our republic, and transforming it into a democracy. The foremost tactic of the subverters is subversion of “language” — by calling America a democracy, until people thoughtlessly accept the term, and use the term. Totalitarians have obscured the real meanings and principles of American government.” ~ Dan Smoot 

Notice that Benjamin Franklin did NOT say “a democracy if you can keep it”. He said, famously, “a REPUBLIC if you can keep it“.

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Notice the song is NOT called “Battle Hymn of the Democracy”. It’s called “Battle Hymn of the REPUBLIC”.

Embarrassingly, many Republicans, even some good ones, fall into the trap of calling the United States a “democracy.” They should immediately stop.