Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.
On 05 March 2013, I introduced the philosophy of Transegoism to a website that calls itself «Philosophy Forums» by reposting my Transegoism article there. This article has, since then, been substantially censored, and, in all likelihood, will soon be removed altogether. However, for as long as it is up, it (what’s left of it) can be viewed here.
When I say «censored,» what I mean is that replies on the thread have been deleted, and the post itself has been actively buried. Here you have a website that represents itself as a forum for open, philosophical debate, and yet, their admins, when unable to defeat someone in open debate, choose to utilize their admin rights to silence that person, rather than acknowledge that either they are wrong, or are simply not as able to mount a salient argument. The tenor of this site is decidedly «leftist;» most of the participants have strong socio-statist tendencies. This, in and of itself, is not necessarily a vice — everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there’s opinion, and then there’s collectively enforced self-deception. I have become thoroughly convinced that it is the latter that is going on, here. Once I discovered this, I started backing up the thread, since I knew it was only a matter of time before replies started getting deleted, and the post itself was buried or deleted. I was right, so now I’m cashing in on my insurance. I will continue to create updates to this article from the thread in question so long as it remains up (probably not that much longer — these guys don’t take losing well).
The initial post was a repost of an article on this site, which can be viewed here.
The reply thread on the post follows (reformatted as an interview for readability):
Benkei: To start with the first three assumptions, what is destiny and why do you assume it exists, why do you assume human beings have destinies, and why do you assume I should, or anyone else for that matter, fulfill my destiny?
Mark I Rasskazov (Me; «Mark» for the rest of this thread): Before I get into the weeds on this too much, I should mention that this is not so much an argument, as much as it is an exposition. That having been said, I will attempt to answer your questions. «What is destiny and why do you assume it exists?» Complex question. Short answer: destiny is causality. Causality exists. Ergo destiny exists. «Why do you assume human beings have destinies?» As I mentioned before, causality amounts to destiny. We are subject to causality. «Why do you assume I should, or anyone else for that matter, fulfill my destiny?» There is a larger universal destiny which would require a dedicated post to even begin to touch on. This post is a simple introduction of an idea. The short answer to your question is that mankind is meant to become a divine super-organism. I will clarify my philosophy with more posts in the future.
Benkei: If it’s «causal» there’s no «should» to begin with as things will happen as they are «supposed» to happen and the moral argument falls apart. In that case, if people are being altruistic it is not a non-concept but a consequence of their destiny and you can’t really morally judge something that is the way it is because it cannot be different.
Mark: There is a «should,» but it only exists within a certain context. Think of it this way: we have free will in an ontological sense, but not a metaphysical sense. Free will is like Newtonian Law. It may not «exist» in the larger scheme of things, but it sure is relevant to the way we carry on with our lives.
Benkei: It’s «like?» Really? That’s what your theory amounts to? It’s sort of like something else but not really? Very fuzzy-wuzzy but $#!+ [expletive redacted] philosophy.
Mark: It’s not invalid to say that a phenomenon operates within a context of scope. As I mentioned, we know this is the case for many physical phenomena, including Newton’s Laws of Physics.
Benkei: More obfuscating nonsense. If you cannot be clear about what you mean without having to resort to useless metaphors, you don’t have a philosophy but some text. At this point you’ve stated that the metaphysical claim is different from the ontological claim, however, ontology is a metaphysical concept so you’d expect some consistency. And you keep mentioning Newton, as if his laws have any validity at this point in time (only as an approximation though). And somehow that epistemological description of reality (which Newton’s laws would be) is «like» free will, the latter which we should think of in an ontological sense but not a metaphysical one. In other words: you’re not even beginning to make sense let alone make clear how an epistemological account of gravity relates to free will, ontology and metaphysics.
Mark: No it’s not nonsense. It’s an idea so big that it’s difficult to nail down with the facts that are currently available to us. But as to free will specifically: Do you make choices? I do. I make them every day — and accepting responsibility for my choices influences me to make better ones. But If I accept metaphysical free choice, then that is tantamount to accepting dualism, unless I am willing to say that the universe is non-deterministic. And saying that the quantum foam is random, I think, is not sufficient support for the idea of free will; after all, free will is not supposed to be random. I think that people are systems which entail a choice mechanism, which, in turn, entails a responsibility protocol.
Benkei: So what you’re saying is, you make choices but they’re not really choices because if that would be true the universe would have to be non-deterministic or dualistic but you subscribe to neither. It’s still
inconcistent [inconsistent]. You can’t have your cake and eat it.
Mark: No. I’m defining the concept of «choice» as being a phenomenon within a closed system.
WS238 [Redacted by Philosophy Forums admins]: Still find it fun to read things by these Übermensch like Rasskazov, who are perpetually obsessed with their alter egos thought up by their lonely selves at 18. Yes, ‘struggling against the real’ and thinking about anything other than your own ‘potential’, is futile! You are the Phoenix of Human Greatness. And always remember how special you are, that you’ve achieved such a exceptionally refined perception of your destiny…
Mark [Redacted by Philosophy Forum admins]: Personal attacks? Really? That’s all you’ve got? Give me a break.
Benkei [Redacted by Philosophy Forum admins]: No no, a personal attack is when I tell you you are $#!+ [expletive redacted]. When I say your philosophy is $#!+ [expletive redacted] after I’ve given you ample room to actually explain it is an accurate assessment borne out by the facts at hand.
NOTE: I responded to this statement, however, my response was removed by the site admins before I had a chance to record it off line. Needless to say, this last statement was an attack on my character and fails as an argument.
Athis: Hi, MIRasskazov [Mark I Rasskazov].
Athis: A couple of questions.
Athis: What’s so awful about altruism? (Silly me, Ayn Rand; of course.)
Mark: Yes. But I take it one step further than Rand. Rand believed that altruism could exist, but that it was evil and self-destructive. I contend that it is a literal impossibility — that it is a non-concept; a contradiction (if you take it to literally mean: «the denial of self»). Ultimately, we act according to our true values — and if we fail to do so, then our failure is the result of weakness. To act according to one’s values is selfish, because it is self reflective: «I» value such and such. Even if «I» am not the direct beneficiary of my resultant actions, I am still acting according to what matters to me. What could be more selfish than that?
Athis: You seem to discount intention or will from destiny; and base it on causality; can you say more about that?
Mark: Certainly! Free will exists subjectively, but not objectively. In other words, we perceive ourselves as having free-will because we are incapable of actualizing the physio-chemical sequencing which results in our ideations, values, and choices.
Athis: You clearly said we
dont [don’t] have free will; we only think we do. It is a subjective illusion; not an objective fact. You said what we think is a free choice is the outcome of a causal physio-chemical process. The implication is our sense of subjective self is some kind of illusion. In objective fact there are only causal physio-chemical processes. So how may this subject — the outcome of causal physio-chemical processes — be credited with either freedom or responsibility? Or be expected to «destroy and recreate» itself?
Mark: Good question. Think of it another way: think of space-time, not as malleable sequence, but as edifice. We experience it sequentially, whereas the reality is that it is monolithic and set in stone. the respective forms of its various columns and keystones are exact and critical — if they were unhewn rock, the structure would collapse. Our characters and minds are formed by the fiber of our respective beings in interaction with the objective surroundings. While this process is predictable, it is no less critical. Responsibility and free will may look illusory in a universal sense, but they are also vital within the contexts of our consciousnesses. They exist, but they are predictable. It’s not that freedom and responsibility are null — it’s simply that they themselves are concepts dependent on a reality which is limited in scope.
Unenlightened (Not a pejorative — this is his actual username on the site.): Is this something other than fascism?
Mark: That is an extremely perceptive question. And yes. Whereas fascism frequently involves the attempt to artificially impose and/or manipulate the super-organism, I contend that in a state of human freedom (i.e., political libertarianism/anarcho-capitalism), the super-organism emerges in its natural state.
Unenlightened [quoting my article on 22 February 2013 entitled, «The Welfare State: Why We Need it and How We Should Change it»]: «Keep welfare in place, but make vasectomies or tubal ligations mandatory for anyone who wants to receive it.»
Unenlightened [in reference to the quote above]: It’s fascism. Now I say they should be mandatory for anyone who wants to own property, but that’s just my universal personality getting uppity.
Mark: You disappoint me. Why do you take that quote out of context? And why shouldn’t I own what I’ve created with my mind and effort?
Unenlightened: You can keep it — I certainly don’t want it.
Mark: No, you just want to punish me for the impudence of having created it.
Athis: Unenlightened did not quote you out of context. It is dishonest of you to suggest he did. I have read your article. How far from there to Auschwitz? I am appalled and cannot engage with you in
dialoge [dialogue]. Fin.
Mark: Respectfully, he stated half of my argument. That is what «to take out of context» means. My full argument (in the article in question) is that no one is entitled to welfare, and welfare, as an institution, is destroying our lives by creating an incentive to steal via the force of the state, to the point that only welfare recipients can have children. This is creating a cycle that will devastate our economy and result in mass starvation. Because people are not entitled to welfare, and because of the increasing number of people on welfare, we need to make sure that more children are not brought up to accept the welfare lifestyle as the norm. At this point, I do think that preventing welfare recipients from reproducing is our best option. I can understand how you could be offended by that, but please take into consideration my entire argument; not portions you’ve lifted from it.
Athis: This transegoism nonsense isn’t philosophy. It’s ultra right-wing libertarian tea-party propaganda dressed up in pseudo-philosophical mumbo-jumbo. Just read what he has to say about free-will and causality! Or
sterilising [sterilizing] anyone who receives welfare payments. It’s not far from there to the «final solution.»
Mark: I can understand why you would react this way, however, I have addressed each of these points already, and you have not responded to my rebuttals. So: Ad Hominem, and Context Dropping, just like before.
Athis: Transegoism is not philosophy; it’s an ideology. That’s why Mr Rasskazov’s arguments make no sense. They are not rational arguments; they are
rationalisations [rationalizations] to support an ideology. In my view the ideology is fundamentalist libertarianism of an extreme sort. I support the right, in principle, of people to believe as they choose; and to express freely their beliefs. I do however draw a line when a person advocates for the physical harming of millions of people as part of a state policy to eradicate millions of people.
Mark: Saying I’m irrational does not amount to evidence of the same. You are misrepresenting my argument, again. Physical harm? Thousands of people accept that procedure voluntarily every year and are otherwise in perfect health. And eradicating people? Preventing pregnancies is hardly what I would call eradicating people. And again. We’re talking about welfare recipients. No one is entitled to receive welfare. We’ve reached the point where we have to take significant measures to curb the number of people on welfare before it tanks our economy. I would rather prevent births then allow our society reach the point of facing mass starvation. Why are you pro-mass starvation?
NOTE: Obviously, I don’t think that Athis is advocating mass starvation, here, nor am I engaging in an «either-or» fallacy; I am pointing out that she is using a Red Herring argument against me by trying to say that I am advocating the eradication of millions of people; an inexcusable misrepresentation of my argument. Also it seems that while this person pays lip service to free speech, he/she seems to feel that I should be silenced. And yet this person has the gall to accuse me of promoting dictatorship. The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
Athis: You have provided ample evidence of your irrationality on this thread.
I am not alone in seeing that.
Mark: What evidence?
NOTE: The person that goes by «Athis» on the Philosophy Forums site has yet to provide any evidence that I am irrational, and I strongly object to being called irrational without demonstrated cause.
Maw: What in the hell am I reading? What is this? «Transegoism»? «Anarcho-Capitalism»? «Universal Personality»? Is it even worth taking out the vorpal sword to quell this Jabberwocky?
Mark: Do or don’t.
Maw: And how are you able to ‘create with your mind’ in the first place? Where did your (self-proclaimed) hard working ethos come from? Were you literally able to do that by yourself?
Mark: I can tell you that it didn’t come from anything I received from the government. I don’t own a lot, but what I do own, I’ve had to work very hard for. I haven’t had many opportunities, but what opportunities I have had, I’ve had to search out. Listen, people help each other, sure. That’s a great thing; it’s a noble thing. But there’s a fundamental difference between: «Will you help me improve my life,» and «You don’t have a right to own that house that you work 40 hour weeks pay the mortgage on.»
M-Theory Rules: Property rights, one could argue…are just theft enforced by the power of the state. Especially when we start to consider how natural resources are privately retrieved and developed. Also…if free people, use a democratic process, to force a market correction with policy…how is that not their right to do so?
Mark: It depends. In our society today, yes. We don’t live in a Capitalist system; we live in a Corporatist system. Our corporations have merged with the government, and our financial system has been corrupted. Thus, many corporations own property that they shouldn’t. In a true free market economy, you cannot own property unless you earn it legitimately — and if you exploit it to the detriment of your neighbors, then you are corrected by the courts. Obviously, that isn’t what we have here in the US. And pure democracy is the law of the mob. You can build institutions around it and dress it up, but if a group of people decide they can «vote» my property and rights away, then all that boils down to is that they are a mob who have decided to rob me by using the state as a proxy.
M-Theory Rules: If a sovereign public sector must secure the value of a currency in the global market…there can be no private sector that exists independent of government. So…we do have a capitalist system…because individuals are who own the means of production. So you want free markets…just not free people? A free market is the «rule of the mob.»
That is how competition works. Yet some how your rights are being infringed upon if you happen to disagree with how a democratic society uses the power of the vote to make a market correction through policy. How is that so? Why are your normative economic values more «free» than a political ideology that has normative economic values that conflict with yours?
Mark: You are incorrect, but you have stumbled upon a salient point: our fiat currency is a huge part of the problem. There is no need for the «public sector» to regulate the value of a commodities based currency. Also, private organizations should be allowed to print their own currency in competition to the state, which they currently are not (see the «Liberty Dollar» case). If my right to self-ownership and my property rights which are derived from it are up for grabs then I am not free. Tyranny by mob is no less tyrannical than tyranny by king. A free market is me dealing with you in terms of voluntary association. Total democracy is 51% of the population sticking a gun in the face of the 49%. If that «democratic society» wields the power of the state to tell me how to run my life or confiscate my property, then yes, my rights are being infringed upon. To be honest, I see the civil versus economic freedom debate as a false dichotomy. They are two parts of the same thing. I have the right to speak my mind — even if 99% of everyone else disagrees. I have the right to associate with whom I choose and refuse to associate with those I find disagreeable — even if my choices of association are disagreeable to 99% of everyone else. I have the right to defend myself and my property against a thug by any means I deem necessary — regardless of how popular that thug might be, or how disagreeable my means might be to anyone else. I am an individual. I own myself, and everything I achieve through the exercise of myself. I am responsible for my actions — both positively and negatively; no one else is answerable for my actions, and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken by anyone else. This is what freedom means. Anything else is tyranny.
M-Theory Rules: Actually the private sector can issue stocks and bonds secured solely by those that own the means of production. There is a free exchange of these type of transactions daily. Or you can go to fun world and exchange public trust currency for their tokens, produced in the private sector. However, good luck getting the international community to value it in terms that you think are fair. The market has spoken on this issue. But you over looked a salient point. Without the public sector there can be no legalities concerning labor and compensation.Well that is how a competitive market works. Demographics decide. You are not talking about free markets,if you feel majority rule infringes upon freedom. Because that is what decides in a free market. Excluding demographics you do not agree with is not a free market. That is a closed exclusive market. There can be no concept of freedom of markets that does not result in a tyranny of the majority. Not just a democratic society…but a democratic market too, the free market will do the same thing. For instance my right to buy a really cheap brand new car is being infringed upon because of the free market. I am glad you agree that your suggestions about sterilization are a false dichotomy, and would be tyrannical. I think you are just naive…and somehow believe that the private sector organizational structures (they tend to be autocracies or oligarchies by the way) are less prone to corruption than a democratically structure organization, like our state. However they are not always so pure and just. Profit makes a horrible incentive. In an ideal market profit is supposed to be a reward, for solving problems. But our institutions rarely operate at optimum.
Mark: Stocks and bonds are not currency. They are not accepted as representing a set value to be owned for the purposes of direct trade. If you attempted to do that, you would be raided by the IRS, just like the Liberty Dollar in NJ. And if by «those that own the means of production» you mean people who go out and build things, shoulder risk, and provide employment, then yes, that’s true. Yes, our system is corrupted, but referring to business owners this way is a red herring. You don’t «own» the means of production unless you first create the means of production. If you abscond with the means of production, then you are looking at some form of authoritarianism; most likely some form of socialism. And there is a growing movement to move back to a commodities based currency because, surprise, surprise, a fiat currency is unstable and lends itself to government corruption, whereas a commodities based currency is self-regulating. In reference to your argument relating to democratic markets, the difference between a market and a democracy is force. In a free market, people operate under the conditions of voluntary association. No one forces me buy a certain product, or provide a certain product, or form partnerships with people I don’t want to, etc. In a pure (not constitutionally limited) democracy, a majority (51%) of people are able to compel everyone else to conform to their will. If they decide I can’t send my child to a private school, then they can force me to send her to a public school. If they decide that they know better than me about nutrition, and arrive at a consensus that margarine is better for me than butter (e.g.), then they can force me to eat margarine instead of butter. If they decide that the house I’ve spent a lifetime paying off is too big, they can confiscate it and force me to move into an apartment. This describes a tyrannical system. Now, if the majority of people in a market favor one company over another, then that company will be more successful than its competitors, but no one is twisting anyone’s arm. Fundamentally, the difference is voluntary versus involuntary. As to your argument that the free market is infringing upon your «right» to purchase a cheap vehicle, that is simply inaccurate, even if I concede that you some how have a «right» to buy a car within a certain price range, which I do not. The fact is, our car industry is heavily regulated. When you regulate an industry, the industrialists build the price of following the law into the price of the product. They have to; otherwise they can’t make a profit and they will go out of business; and before you interject that if it was state owned, the state could set the price — the price reflects what it costs to roll the product out. Somebody, somewhere will have to pay the piper, whether it’s the consumer or the tax payer. This also leads into your claim that the free market is oligarchical; the regulation of industry, as opposed to an unregulated, free market, leads to an oligarchical system of commerce because regulation creates a barrier to entry. Say, I want to sell «widgets.» Well there’s large conglomerate (let’s call it «Big Widget») that already sells them, but at an inflated price to pad their bottom line. Well, in a free market system, I find a way to sell the widget for significantly less, and am able to do so because of lower overhead, and somewhat smaller (but still sufficient, for me) profit margin. Well, now Big Widget is in competition with me and must either match my price, try to drown out awareness of my product by engaging in a marketing campaign (which could backfire, since that company will have to build the price of marketing into the price of the product, making my price that much more attractive to the consumer), or go out of business in my area of logistical reach. This causes prices to be self-regulating and keeps the market «democratic,» if you will (to use the term in a fast and loose manner). In our economy, the way it works is, the government regulates and taxes industry to the extent that it is difficult to get into it initially, because you have to hire an army of lawyers and CPAs to compete — and the largest companies (like GE, e.g.) lobby the government and end up paying little to no tax themselves, thus ensuring that they can continue to enjoy market dominance. That’s not a free market. That’s fascism; a form of socialism.
NOTE: This is as far as the thread has gone so far. I will update this article if further responses are submitted.
The person who goes by «M-Theory Rules» on this site seems to be the only person capable of putting up a decent argument; if I were less informed on the subjects he brought up, I might have had to concede some points to him; however, while he is clearly intelligent, he is clearly very mistaken about the nature of our economic system here in the USA. Still, kudos to him for putting up a good fight.
As for the rest of them, their bias, intellectual weakness, and retaliatory spite are transparent to the point of being shameful. I consider them to be inferior minds who don’t take losing well. We shall see how long they allow my post to remain on their site at all, or how long it takes for them to block my account on their site. I give it a week, at most.
UPDATE (0011 10 MARCH 2013):
Ciceroianus: It reads like something Ayn Rand might have written had she been Wiccan.
SittinWSocratesTiff: Stop Ciceronianus!
Your [You’re] scaring me!
NOTE: I don’t know this Ciceronianus person. He may have meant the above as a derogatory remark. I would like to take a moment to mention that an idea (or two ideas, for that matter) being unpopular is not relevant to whether it is valid or not.
Mark: Interesting take. I could see that, I guess. I prefer to think of it as Aquinas meets Spinoza, myself.
Maw: If you can somehow get this wacko shit out of Spinoza you should stop doing philosophy.
Mark: If you are unaware that Spinoza espoused the idea that God is the sum of the entire universe — one of my main metaphysical pillars, then you should read more of him before you start invoking him.
Maw (quoting from Spinoza’s Ethics Part 1): «From the note to PROP XV: «Substances and modes form the sum total of existence. PROP XXIX, Note: ‘Before going any further, I wish here to explain, what we should understand by nature viewed as active (natura natarans), and nature viewed as passive (natura naturata). I say to explain, or rather call attention to it, for I think that, from what has been said, it is sufficiently clear, that by nature viewed as active we should understand that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself, or those attributes of substance, which express eternal and infinite essence, in other words (Prop. xiv., Coroll. i., and Prop. xvii., Coroll. ii.) God, in so far as he is considered as a free cause. By nature viewed as passive I understand all that which follows from the necessity of the nature of God, or of any of the attributes of God, that is, all the modes of the attributes of God, in so far as they are considered as things which are in God, and which without God cannot exist or be conceived.'»
Mark: How is that not what I just said?
NOTE: I haven’t heard back from Maw yet. I can only gather that he was trying to prove I was wrong about Spinoza by… um… showing I was right about Spinoza. Ooh. Burn on me.
Athis: I am pleased to see this has been moved from the General Philosophy forum.
It is not philosophy; it is ideology; and of an especially dangerous kind. If Transegoists ever get power in the USA, then god help the USA. They will quickly begin to righteously commit the most heinous crimes against humanity. If it be objected that I am being unfair to Transegoists, let me remind the reader that Transegoists advocate for the compulsory
sterilisation [sterilization] of unemployed people receiving any welfare payment. In the USA today almost 50 million people are in receipt of some form of welfare. According to the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court, compulsory sterilisation [sterilization] is a crime against humanity [see: http://untreaty.un.org/cod/icc/statute/99_corr/cstatute.htm%5D. One of the first steps the German Nazi Party took towards the ‘final solution’ was to pass the Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring in 1933. A law which enforced compulsory sterilisation [sterilization] of those judged undesirable by the Nazi state. (This post is a criticism of the ideology presented as Tranegoism. It is not directed against the person of MIRasskazov who represents and advocates for that ideology.)
Mark: Yes. Quoting laws and treaties amounts to a syllogistic argument on ethics. (In case my sarcasm isn’t coming across, no it’s not; it’s called an «Appeal to Authority,» and it’s a logical fallacy.) I find it interesting that you don’t seem to understand that veiled legal threats are not an argument. Oh, and by the way, you’re also committing a «Slippery Slope» fallacy by insinuating that not forcing the tax payer to pay for welfare recipients to have more children at his/her expense against his/her will will somehow magically transform the USA into Nazi Germany. The fact that there are 50 million people in the US on welfare supports my point, not yours. That’s an extra mouth to feed for every single working family in the US; and given our demographics, that will only get worse over time. Not only will preventing welfare recipients from having children not lead to Nazi Germany (as it is a matter of socio-economic survival, and not a matter of race/genetics — another Red Herring on your part), but not doing so is bound to lead to a situation that is worse than Nazi Germany was (as bad as it was); budgetary shortfalls, leading to inflation, leading to the destruction of private wealth, leading to the destruction of domestic job creation, leading to complete economic collapse, leading to a collapse of our government, leading to the formation of rogue governments within the US (organized crime syndicates — like Russia in the 1990s and Mexico today). And what follows after that actually will closely resemble Nazi Germany, as the government takes drastic measures to re-haul the system and reestablish order.
NOTE: I find Athis’s vocal support of policies which will inevitably lead to National Socialism in the USA to be utterly deplorable.