Comment: progress

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There are some good points made below concerning the creation of straw men, especially with regard to Ayn Rand. Certain elements of Objectivism may be of interest, but I wouldn't view that as a foundation for much of anything at this point.

I would add the following:

It seems that philosophically, practically, and from every other point of view, the inevitable conclusion seems to be that the notion of limited government is simply contradictory. You can tell that the author has fallen into the contradiction from the recurrent fear-mongering assertion: "Desiring a greater level of liberty for individuals than I do will lead to chaos." The use of the term "chaos" is the give-away.

Beyond that, it seems to me there is a second straw-man, namely, that the only objection to Aristotle's assertion of moderation is from relativism. I'm perfectly happy to accept universal principles of morality, and the application of natural law as described. I'm still of the view that

1. Aristotle was incorrect concerning means. That idea is merely a way to preserve the benefits of immoral actions for those advocating compromise. (Conservative: "ouch!"---probably most libertarians too.)

2. A universal principle of morality is that no one (human being) has a right to originate a claim on another. God may have the right to make claims on people. He may execute those claims through people. But the people through whom God executes his claims are universally immoral. To try to paint any other picture of human government, while very "conservative," is not justified.

3. To compromise on the principle of morality just described is to act in opposition to natural law. As Monroe (I think) said: You may gain power, but you will lose dominion over your soul.

I'd like to read the book. Really I would. If there's a book club offering the opportunity for meaningful discussion I would probably be inclined to participate. Maybe when Michael gets back from vacation, he can explain how one can have meaningful discussion in the presence of the apriori assertion: If you don't agree with me, it will be "chaos." (If you don't have tanks on the street, if you don't have martial law, if you don't have social security, ...)