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Galt’s Speech Revisited, and My Message to All

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. “You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning. You have cried that man’s sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils, which you held as the cause of your plight. You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty.” “You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins. It is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it.” I too refuse to endorse your standard of virtue. You have continually promoted the idea that man does not own his own life; that his life is owned by the collective; that one man’s need constitutes a moral obligation upon the actions of another; that one man’s need constitutes a right to the property of another. You estimate the worth of another man’s life by the degree to which he sacrifices his time, effort or property to others, casting aside as useless, the degree to which he innovates, invents, invests in, produces, creates and improves the quality of life for his fellow man, while profiting from his efforts. In fact, it’s because he has profited from his efforts that you have cast aside his accomplishments. Such men are the true humanitarians of this world. For most of you profit is the most evil word in the English language. Then you see the world crumbling around you and believe that its destruction derives... Read the full thing

The Argument from Patriotism

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. There is a worn out slogan usually associated with the Conservative right which reads, “America, Love It or Leave It.” This slogan is quite distasteful to the Liberal left. It is often seen as a bumper sticker with an American flag on it. There is also a very popular and often quoted slogan penned by John F. Kennedy, which reads, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” The Liberal left loves this slogan as if it were quoted directly from the Communist Manifesto. Often, whenever I become involved in discussions with both sides of the political spectrum, whereby I take the position of advocating a voluntary society and express disappointment with our present system of government compulsion, both Liberals and Conservatives join forces and ultimately resort to the following argument against my position of freedom. They both say, “The price we must pay for living in America is to abide by its laws, pay taxes and vote to support it.” In other words, “America, Love it or Leave it.” Suddenly, the Liberals are in agreement with the very slogan that has been abhorrent to them in the past. This is a prime example of the saying, “politics makes strange bedfellows.” I call both of their slogans, “The Argument from Patriotism.”This demonstrates that both parties are very similar in their fundamental method of achieving their goals. They agree upon the use of governmental compulsion and duress in order to solve society’s most urgent problems. They never stop to consider that perhaps their fundamental method may be the very antithesis of what is required. They differ only as to the issues they favor and disfavor. They both hide under the guise of patriotism. This country was founded upon the doctrines antithetical to the Argument from Patriotism. The immigrants came here from other lands where they were constantly expected to perform for the benefit of their king, monarch, rulers, party or country. Thus, a Statist society is one in which the individual is subservient to the State. These immigrants escaped all manifestations of religious, social and economic persecutions in order to come to a land where there existed the promise that they would be left alone to shift for themselves for... Read the full thing

Faith and Force

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. “Faith means belief without evidence or reason, or in spite of evidence to the contrary. There is no way to reason with someone acting out of faith; there is no fact that one can reference to refute a premise sprung from faith. That’s why faith begets violence; there can be no reconciling with a belligerent acting on the basis of his faith.” – Nicholas Provenzo The reason why faith begets violence is because when belief without reason is considered just as valid as reason, it brings all rational conversation to a dead halt, which can cause frustration and anger leading to physical conflict. Against faith there is no reason to attempt persuasion. It’s like trying to administer medicine to the dead. A big problem with insisting that faith leads to force is that most people of faith will deny that they espouse force. However, they don’t recognize the true nature of force, especially when they vote. They faithfully believe that their vote is an attempt to humanely institute peaceful methods of organizing society. They equate the vote with voluntarism, which is absurd. They don’t recognize that their vote is coercing someone else into doing something against their will or not doing something they prefer to do because it’s forbidden. It can be demonstrated that the progressives of today (and even many conservatives) base their beliefs on faith. Try conversing with progressives (and many conservatives) and see if they offer any valid arguments for their positions. All of the progressive’s arguments are emotional, while the conservatives use spurious reasoning to sustain their positions. (See my previous article, “The Liberal Mind vs. The Conservative Mind“) There is no hierarchy to their edifice of knowledge concerning their societal beliefs, leaving them with faith as an invalid substitute. The physical conflict to which I referred above will come somewhere down the line as frustration heats up eventually leading to blood in the streets of America. The anger exhibited between the various classes created by the progressive politicians has never been so vociferous as it is today. Hate and contempt between the classes is at an all time high, especially between the left and the right. As the theft and regulation of the property and lives of the taxpaying public... Read the full thing

The Private vs. the Public Sector

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. A few years ago, while having a brief and passing conversation with a fellow bridge player, and after hearing my particular ideology about government and its inefficiencies, corruption and coercive power, she made the following statement: “I understand and agree with what you’re saying, however, since government and the private sector are both inefficient and corrupt, I’d rather cast my lot with government than with the private sector.” Of course she was implying that the private sector is the greater of the two evils. So, fundamentally, to her, political power is a lesser evil than economic power. No argument, article or book can dissuade her from her position. The progressives and even the conservatives have accepted the premise that the free market, by its very nature, must result in, tyranny and enslavement by the employers, unfair business practices, monopolies, harm to the workers, unfair wages and rents and a general exploitation of the workers and consumers. Therefore, the private sector must be reeled in, controlled and held in check through regulation, and taxation. The more stringent the controls the better does the government serve the people. (Examples of past extremely stringent controls by the State are Nazi Germany and Communist USSR). Their entire premise is based upon a false understanding of the free market. To understand the free market I present the reader with a speech given by Nathaniel Branden in 1995. The Foundations of a Free SocietyNathaniel Branden, PhD This article is based on Nathaniel Branden’s remarks at the Cato Institute on November 2, 1995. Some years ago, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, I was an invited speaker at a conference of company CEOs and presidents in Acapulco, Mexico. Another of the speakers was Gennady Gerasimov, who you may remember was Gorbachev’s spokesperson to the West. I went to hear his talk, which he opened with a joke. And the joke went like this: The Soviet Union has invaded and successfully conquered every country on the planet, with one exception: New Zealand. The Soviet Union has chosen not to invade New Zealand. Question: Why? Answer: So we would know the market price of goods. And of course everybody in the audience got the joke, and everybody laughed, and I sat there stunned. My mind... Read the full thing

The Primary Goal of My Writing

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. In 1961 I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time. I loved it but that’s as far as it went. To me it was just a great story. In 1968 I became involved in a political discussion with a woman who quickly suggested that I re-read Atlas before we got involved in any further ideological discussions, which I did. Many discussions with her followed with some resistance on my part, since I came from a very liberal background and Atlas propounded ideas that were out of step with my beliefs. However, with each contention of resistance on my part she had a reasonable response until one day, like Archimedes, I had a “eureka” moment. A light went on. On an intellectual level I describe that level of integration as spiritual; on an emotional level it was pure joy. It created a thirst for further knowledge resulting in my reading the kinds of books and articles in which I hadn’t previously had the least interest—philosophy, economics, politics, ethics, psychology, epistemology. In the first 15 minutes of the film 2001, A Space Odyssey, primitive man is shown realizing that he might use a femur bone lying next to him, as a tool, a weapon to fight off an invading tribe. When he uses the tool successfully thereby warding off the invaders, he throws the femur up in the air with the look of the same pure joy that I experienced when I had that “eureka” moment while discussing Atlas. While in the air, the femur bone (tool) then morphs into a space ship (tool) on the way to the moon in the year 2001. I tear up each time I see that scene because it was a brilliant way of demonstrating the wonder of the human mind. I had felt the same emotion upon subsequently understanding the writings and teachings of Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard, Robert Ringer, John Pugsley, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, Frederic Bastiat, Andrew Galambos and Jay Stuart Snelson. Another moment of spiritual and emotional joy for me came near the end of the film The Miracle Worker. Throughout the story, Annie Sullivan tries to teach the deaf, mute and blind Helen Keller how to communicate by means of touching Helen’s hands in various... Read the full thing

Two Realities

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. Basically, there are two groups of people that exist in the world, when it comes to metaphysics and epistemology. The basic premises they maintain are at odds and determine how they conduct their lives and the conclusions they come to when it involves moral and political issues. They see reality differently—one hundred eighty degrees of difference. This is an attempt to verbalize those reality differences. Reality will dictate the outcome of the battle and a battle it is—an ideological battle. The lists below represent a general list of what most of each group believes. However, it stands to reason that one cannot predict the beliefs of any one individual of the group. I will call one group Non-Statists or Limited Statists and the other group Statists-Collectivists. It should be quite obvious that these opposite ideas demonstrate why there can never be compromise between them. In reality, the two groups should be divided between Anarchists (Voluntaryists) and Statists but I have used a more general dividing line to give the Limited Statists the benefit of the doubt by categorizing them with the Non-Statists (Anarchists)Non-Statists and Limited Statists Contradictions do not exist in reality Many things are absolute Some things are impossible Theft is the taking of property without the consent of the owner. There is no alternate definition. All opinions are not equally valid The law of supply and demand is an absolute, a Natural Law of Human Action Wishing, hoping, praying and a positive attitude cannot accomplish most things The knowledge of basic principles is paramount in order to solve problems on a consistent basis One man’s need does not constitute a moral obligation upon the actions of another One man’s need does not constitute a right to the property of another Truth exists The ends do not justify the means Like all things, Man has a Nature, which must be considered when trying to manipulate him Natural law cannot be violated without impunity Evil does exist Profit, to the highest degree, is good and necessary for a thriving nation There is nothing immoral about a person who has much abundance and wants more Calling slavery by another name will not change the meaning— will not make it freedom Redistribution of wealth falls under the definition of theft... Read the full thing

The Great Salt Solution

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. Let’s create a new society from scratch starting with a basic agreement that theft, fraud, kidnapping or any form of coercion is a crime and will not be tolerated. In fact, the citizens correctly define freedom as the absence of coercion. When a coercive act occurs, the person against whom that act has been perpetrated can be said to have lost his/her freedom, until restitution has occurred. The perp has, in effect, enslaved the victim. As the coercion-free society develops, prosperity and abundance prevail. Businesses develop and flourish. It’s a win-win arrangement. It is a society in harmony.Multiple businesses supplying the same product also develop naturally. Let’s suppose that 10 salt-producing companies exist at the same time, competing with each other for the consumer’s dollars, thus keeping the price of salt at a level that the consumer can afford. Suddenly some natural disaster occurs that affects the output of 25% of the salt companies thus reducing the supply of available salt. Naturally, the price of salt will rise. As the price of salt rises, the citizens complain about the high price of salt and want the authorities (government) to do something about it in spite of the agreement that coercion will not be tolerated. So the authorities (government) make one exception to the rule, with the approval of all. What can the government do about the situation? Think about it. Suppose you and you alone have the power to fix the situation. What would you do? Let’s solve the problem using the age-old method. Let’s pass a law (coercion) that fixes the price of salt at a low price, so as to make salt available to all, not just to those who can afford the new high prices. It is a fact that not all companies produce their product at the high end of the profit stream. Some companies are marginal producers, meaning that the profits they earn allow them to barely survive. With a law coercing the marginal producers to charge a price that is lower than the market dictates, workers will have to be laid off and eventually those producers will go out of business, thus creating a further shortage of salt. The result was the exact opposite effect than the effect desired. The intention was... Read the full thing

To Atheist Liberals

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. Faith is the acceptance of an idea based upon the absence of proof or in spite of evidence or reason to the contrary. Therefore, to hold the position that there is faith in reason is a contradiction in terms. Atheists come from all walks of life and from all sides of the political spectrum, but what we have in common is a commitment to reason. Our atheistic belief is based upon the fact that all explanations for the belief in the existence of any god has, under careful analysis, proved to be pure sophistry. Atheism, The Case Against God, by George Smith, covers the false reasoning offered by scholars who have tried, but failed to prove the existence of a deity. As such, theists are left with “faith” as a substitute explanation for their belief. They claim that faith is a legitimate alternate explanation for their belief and proceed to close the book on the subject. George Smith, in his brilliant criticism of the explanations offered by theists for their beliefs, proves that there is no valid reason to accept any of the propositions for any theistic belief. In doing so, he offers much more than a justification for the atheist position. He establishes a hierarchy of reason, from the ground up, for the construction of an edifice of rational thinking in all fields of knowledge, including the field of politics. The same principles apply.Let’s switch the subject of rational inquiry from religion, to the subject of rational inquiry into politics and apply those same principles. As a matter of common sense, political conclusions should require the same hierarchical structure in order to come to all rational conclusions. In other words, one’s political ideology must be consistent with natural law, the nature of man, and the rules of logic. Political ideology must start from the ground up and contain no contradictions. In the absence of such a structure, there is nothing left upon which to build a political ideology, except “faith”. I have never heard a liberal defend his/her ideology based upon a rational hierarchy, or in other words, reason. With them it’s all faith in their emotions. Of course, everyone has a right to one’s own opinion. But an opinion is just that—an opinion. Not all opinions... Read the full thing

The Social Liberal vs. the Fiscal Conservative, Contradiction

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. Note by the author of this column: I picked up this article a few years ago but I neglected to record the source, so I used the word “anonymous” to attribute the author. The reader may therefore take the following article with a grain of salt. However, it is a lesson of great significance because I know through conversations with many liberals that this article is representative of the thinking of most liberals. Any liberals who read this article written by one of their own kind should recognize themselves. The anonymous liberal author wrote as follows: For many years, as a young man, I subscribed to the idea that I was a social liberal, while at the same time, a fiscal conservative. Recently, I decided to analyze what those words meant. After all, words do have meaning. As a social liberal I favored such issues as welfare and food stamps, government-run education, rent control, price control, wage control, government regulation of industry, social security, Medicare and socialized medicine in general. In short, I favored most of those programs that were favored by socialists and the Democratic Party. As a fiscal conservative I championed such issues as low taxes, a balanced budget, low or no deficit spending, low or no inflation, full employment, and economic stability. In short, I favored most of those programs that were favored by the Republican Party. It was always my contention America would be a safe, secure, prosperous and harmonious nation with the passage of liberal social programs along with fiscal conservative programs. Recently I started thinking about the following. There are a few well-accepted and correct axioms in the field of logic that are apropos. The first is that contradictions can exist in one’s mind but they do not exist in reality. In fact, by definition, a contradiction is proof that one of two opposite beliefs cannot be true at the same time. By definition, the existence of a contradiction shows that something is impossible. The old cliché that “nothing is impossible” is incorrect. Some things are impossible. Coming to the conclusion that one is holding to a contradiction is man’s method of correcting himself from false reasoning and false beliefs. That idea, along with the syllogism is the most useful intellectual tool... Read the full thing

The Race Against Time

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the lexicon of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” That quote was attributed to Victor Hugo but Victor Hugo’s quote was actually, “one can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.” Another not-so-famous quote is, “you have enemies? Why? It is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.” It is historically provable that in the long run right ideas will replace wrong ideas. Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies replaced the centuries-old Aristotelian assertion that heavier objects fall faster than light objects; Semmelweis’ idea that physicians must wash their hands before treating patients in order to prevent the spread of disease, replaced the centuries-old idea that there was no need to wash one’s hands before handling patients; the statement that “man will never be able to fly in a machine heavier than his own weight, was replaced by the invention of the airplane by the Wright Brothers; the belief that the bubonic plague was caused by people who were consorting with the devil, was replaced by the discovery that the plague was caused by the bacteria, pasteurella pestis, but not after millions of people suffered the death and agonies of the disease and not after hundreds of thousands, including women and little children, were executed, as they were thought to be the cause. The list is a long line of similar mistakes. The replacement of those wrong ideas by right ideas could not resist the invasion of armies. Their time had come. Nobody had to coerce Mankind to use those ideas, because they were right and good ideas. Communism, also called Socialism, and Fascism, also called National Socialism have been a bad idea in principle and certainly in practice as history has proven. Even the hybrid (free markets tempered by government planning) also called the Mixed Economy with its punitive regulations, confiscatory taxes and free choice restrictions has proven to be a failure. Just witness the suffering, privations, economic hardship and lack of security experienced by... Read the full thing