the PRODOS blog

Have a hug. Read Atlas Shrugged.

Category: Discover Capitalism™ (page 2 of 5)

Real life (not online) discussion and study of Capitalist Ideals, principles, history.

Ayn Rand Lexicon now available online

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AynRandLexicon.com

A powerful resource for those interested in studying and checking out what Ayn Rand and Objectivism are really about.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon is not commentary about Ayn Rand or her philosophy, Objectivism. Itconsists ofdirect quotes from Ayn Randand some ofthose works which she directly endorsed.

The debate on Ayn Rand’s ideas will continue.Good! But there’ll be little excuse to misquote or misrepresent those views.

And for those writing from an Objectivist perspective, now you can hypertext link the terminology you use.

But the greatest value of all, and the greatest fun of all is the application of the Lexicon as a study tool.

I’ve had my own hard copy of this publication since it first came out, and it’s gotten plenty of use!

A couple of examples from the Ayn Rand Lexicon

From one of the entries under “altruism”:

There are two moral questions which altruism lumps together into one “package-deal”:

(1) What are values?

(2) Who should be the beneficiary of values?

Altruism substitutes the second for the first; it evades the task of defining a code of moral values, thus leaving man, in fact, without moral guidance.

Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value—and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.

One of the entries under “property rights” ….

The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial.

It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.

Even these two examples, I think, highlight both the uniqueness of Ayn Rand’s take on ideas, as well as the Aristotelian/Enlightenment tradition of which she is a part.

Hat tip to Zigory.

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Discover Capitalism: Benevolent nature of Capitalism, Thomas Sowell on Iraq

At yesterday’s Discover Capitalism ™ meeting we studied …
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… George Reisman’s essay on the Benevolent Nature of Capitalism, and …
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… Thomas Sowell’s 3 “Mugged by Reality” essays (#1, #2, #3) about Iraq and the USA.

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Discover Capitalism: Success of private education across the Third World

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James Tooley, E. G. West Centre, England

Notice of this Monday’s Discover Capitalism meeting in Melbourne, Australia . . .

From: Prodos, Ph: 9428 1234, 0421 221 679

Dear Friends,

Good evening!

NOTE

Next week – and possibly beyond – Discover Capitalism™ will be meeting on MONDAY (instead of Tues).

Venue: Grace Food & Wine
306 Bridge Road, Richmond
(opposite the Richmond Town Hall)

TOPIC

This Monday evening we’ll have a look at some of the work of Dr James Tooley of the England-based E. G. West Centre, studying the success stories in non-state funded education across the Third World.

Time: Formal meeting commences at 7.30 PM (sharp) and finishes at 9.30 PM (sharp).

I’ll be there … from around 6.30 PM to set up and have a meal, if you’d care to join me. Otherwise food and drinks, and sweets WILL be available throughout the evening.

– – –

The Financial Times, reports on James Tooley’s work

Almost everybody knows that governments cannot
run factories, farms or shops. But many people
still expect them to do a first-rate job of
delivering education. They are deluded.
Poor parents have realised this already.
They have also done something about it, as
James Tooley … has discovered.

… Prof Tooley has already found that private
schools for the poor perform far better than their
public counterparts, to the chagrin of fond believers
in the honesty and devotion of public sector
bureaucracies.

He has shown that private schools have lower
teacher absenteeism, lower costs and better
results than public competitors.

This superiority is, without doubt, because they
are accountable to parents, not idle functionaries
and indifferent politicians.

– – –

James Tooley, writing in the Sunday Times:

Bob Geldof and Bono rave about how an extra
1m-plus children are now enrolled in primary
school in Kenya. All these children, the
accepted wisdom goes, have been saved by the
benevolence of the international community – which
must give $7 to $8 billion (�3.8 to �4.4 billion)
per year more so that other countries can
emulate Kenya’s success.

The accepted wisdom is wrong.

It ignores the remarkable reality that the poor
in Africa have not been waiting, helplessly, for
the munificence of pop stars and western chancellors to ensure that their children get a decent education.

Private schools for the poor have emerged in huge
numbers in some of the most impoverished slums
and villages in Africa. They cater for a majority of
poor children and outperform government schools,
for a fraction of the cost.

– – –

It would be a pleasure to see you and think with you on MONDAY, so I hope you’ll be able to make it along!

=]:-)

Best Wishes,

PRODOS

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Discover Capitalism meeting: Discussing Michael Yon and Martin Durkin

Tomorrow’s discussion topics @ DISCOVER CAPITALISM (Melbourne, Australia) …

  1. An American in Iraq.

    For this segment we will draw on two (1 | 2)recent dispatches from embedded (in Iraq) journalist, Michael Yon.What I found fascinating about these two dispatches
    is what they reveal (in part, without even realising
    it) about the way Americans think. And how they shed light on how and why the United States has truly earned
    its Superpower status.

    That America’s economic and military supremacy is no accident. That it flows naturally from the way Americans think.

    The first dispatch reports on a meeting between
    American commanders and Iraq civilian and military leaders.

    The second dispatch details the decision making involved
    in bombing a house in which a terrorist was hiding.

  2. Responses to The Great Global Warming Swindle.

    We’ll have a look at how Martin Durkin, the producer
    of TGGWS has responded to his critics, as well as
    how they’ve responded to his documentary and to
    Global Warming denialists.

Venue: Royal Oak Hotel
Corner of Bridge Road and Church Street, Richmond.

Food & Drinks available throughout the night.

Barboo/Sydney and I will be there from about 6.30 PM.
Join us before the formal meeting begins! …

… which will be at 7.30 PM sharp. And we finish at 9.30 PM sharp.

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Part 1: A careful examination of Mikko Ellila’s article, Society Consists of People

Update, Sunday June 10 2007, Cincinnati time: Mikko hasprovided an authorized English translation of his article, Society Consists of People, which I’ve posted HERE

Over several posts I will carefully examine,step-by-step,the reasoning and the claims made by Finnish blogger Mikko Ellila(also spelt:Ellilä and Ellilän) in his article “Society Consists of People” (See original in Finnish here, or English translation here.)

[By the way, Sydney Kendall is also doing a detailed analysis of the Mikko article. Highly recommended!]

Let’s get started ….

Society Consists of People
By Mikko Ellila

In the discussion of immigration and multiculturalism many people seem to forget, that every society and culture is created and upheld by certain kind of people.

European culture and modern western society is created by white people.

One could see in Africa societies and cultures created by black people, if there were no railroads, airplanes, streets with asphalt, stone houses, electricity, telephone, television, etc.

Even if it’strue that some or many or even most of the people who “created” modern Westernculturewere “white”. They were also many other things too.

Why is the “white” bit relevant?

Is “white” a distinguishing attribute? Or is there some more fundamental attribute/characteristic at work?

New concepts andnew ways of doing things, defining and defending and promoting freedom, and creating wealth are functions of independent, individual thinking.

Volition/Free Will has nothing to do with race or biology. All humans, regardless of race have inherent free will and therefore the capacity for creative thought.

Many of the best defenders of free speech and individual rights today are not “white”.

Continue reading

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Discover Capitalism: Steven Shamrak talk on UNDERSTANDING ZIONISM

Notice for tonight’s DISCOVER CAPITALISM meeting in Melbourne, Australia, with guest speaker, Steven Shamrak

UNDERSTANDING ZIONISM
Speaker: Steven Shamrak

Some of the issues we’ll explore include …

Continue reading

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IPA praises the Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation

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The cover story of Australia’sInstitute of Public Affairs magazine, IPA Review,is:

Islam’s free market heritage
written by Chris Berg and Andrew Kemp.

One of the groups that’s praised in that article is the Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation.

Among other things, this group claims that:

… the life of Prophet Muhammad provides a perfect example.

… The law of God, as enunciated in the Qur’an and exemplified in the life of the Prophet is supreme in all cases.

I wonder if Chris and Andrew have studied the Hadith in order to be clear about what this means exactly. I really think they should.

Islam is not a new religion, but a re-presentation of the same message and guidance that Allah revealed to all of His prophets.

What this means is that Jesus and Moses (and others) were all Muslims. It also means that Islam is the rightful owner/origin/source of both Christianity and Judaism.

The Islamic “Free Market”Institute Foundation also quotes this item by George Bernard Shaw:

I believe that if a man like him [Muhammad] were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness.

Oh, I get it! A free market dictator! Brilliant.

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Discover Capitalism: Margot Bruton discusses phonics

At this evening’s Discover Capitalism meeting Margot Bruton talked about the new phonics program she’s been developing.

We also compared the phonics approach with the whole language approach.

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Discover Capitalism: Tim Warner versus the Access Card

At tonight’s Discover Capitalism™ meeting in Melbourne, Tim Warner – founder of Access Card NO WAY – talked about his work in fighting against and exposing the dangers ofthe Australian Government’s proposed Access Card.

A brilliant presentation!

At the end of the night, Melbourne Celebrate Capitalism CPL (Creative Project Leader), nominated Tim Warner for the Melbourne Capitalism Award™ 2007.

Here is an excerpt from Tim Warner’s speech to the Australian Adam Smith Club last year . . .

“The Philosophic Case against the Card”

The driving force behind the Anglo-Saxon political arrangements of the last two hundred years has been the assumption that Government is limited, and that the citizen is free to do anything that does not demonstrably harm their fellow citizens.

This is the result of a thousand years of political development.

The fight to restrict arbitrary government: the Magna Carta in 1215, defining that the King and the Executive were limited.

The English Civil War in the 1640’s: which decided that only the people could write and enforce laws.

The Glorious and Bloodless Revolution of 1688: that proved that the King and the Government held their positions on the peoples say so.

The American Revolution of 1776: which set a benchmark in
constrained government.

… society is made up of individuals who each have their own
beliefs and values.

They have an absolute property right in their own persons.

That right includes the right of information that they have about them. Any passing or trade of that information should be contracted, and limited by the consent of the person.

The plea that this [the Access Card] is an increase in
efficiency misses the point.

What is the Government doing that needs to be that
efficient with our information?

… The concept of limited or constrained Government is not a
right-wing plot, or a dated political concept – outmoded
by the needs of a technological society.

It is a fundamental requirement for a free society.
It is needed even more in a technologically advanced society.

You must design a constitution and a government as if the devil himself may become its leader.

Angels may be in larger supply than I may believe, but the devil can do great damage in a little time.

… My personal view is that the ID Card represents the total inversion of the magic recipe that has made the west such a success.

This recipe – created by the British and perfected by the American Founding Fathers – is that you give the government a power only on the strictest undertaking after exhausting all other options.

You don’t set out to hand powers to government because it is a convenience.

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Economist Milton Friedman dies at 94

Associated Press report @ Newsmax that Milton Friedman has died:

Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, died Thursday. He was 94.

Friedman died in San Francisco, said Robert Fanger, a spokesman for the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in Indianapolis. He did not know the cause of death.

In more than a dozen books and in his column in Newsweek magazine, Friedman championed individual freedom in economics and politics.

His theory of monetarism, adopted in part by the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations, opposed the traditional Keynesian economics that had dominated U.S. policy since the New Deal. He was a member of Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board.

His theories won him a Nobel in economics in 1976.

“He has used a brilliant mind to advance a moral vision – the vision of a society where men and women are free, free to choose, but where government is not as free to override their decisions,” President Bush said in 2002. “That vision has changed America, and it is changing the world.”

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