On March 6, 2013, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul filibustered Obama’s CIA nominee John Brennan for 13 hours. It took 13 hours because the White House refused to answer Paul’s simple question: Can the President assassinate U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism without due process, who are not actively involved in combat? Silence, in this case, speaks volumes. Why would an executive want to reserve that power?
As a self-identified collectivist (advocates wealth redistribution), President Obama regards individual rights as subordinate to the “public good” or the “needs of others.” This much, at least, is abundantly clear from his views on individual property rights.
You might be wondering “what’s wrong with collectivism, and public good?” In order to survive and thrive as a human being, an individual must be free to acquire and keep values which support his/her life, by his/her own judgment and action. Such is the nature of the human organism. Birds fly, cheetahs sprint, and humans think. Without the freedom to act on independent judgment without interference, an individual may survive by the charity (or mutual enslavement) of others, such as under socialism or communism, but without the freedom to act upon his best judgement, the individual is not the owner of his own life, because he is not free to sustain it.
The right to life being irrefutably linked to the right to property (values required for survival) — which the President has demonstrated zero regard for — gives us insight into Obama’s views on individual rights to life and liberty. Whether he is aware of the connection between the right to property and the right to life and self-ownership or not is irrelevant, and is only that much more dangerous, if he is not aware of it.
Were there not limitations placed on him by the constitutional republic which he has been elected to represent, it would be difficult to make the argument that the President would not have already stripped Americans of most, if not all property rights, given his rhetoric on the issue, and already have executed non-combatant Americans without process of law on American soil. (He has already executed Americans abroad extra judicially). Why would it be difficult to make that argument?
Because it is not reasonable to expect him to respect the lives of individuals, given his complete disregard for the property and autonomy of individuals — both of which are integral and essential to a rewarding and productive human life.
Historically speaking, the “public good” has been the justification for the slaughter and enslavement of more than a hundred and fifty million people according to some estimates. And that’s just the 20th century. It continues to be the justification for ever-increasing rights-violations by all governments of the world today.
We should all be grateful for the effort put forth by Mr Paul to preserve Americans’ right to life and liberty.
Stumbled upon this colossal quote today, and had to share it with you:
“Does history record any case in which the majority was right?” ―Robert A. Heinlein
Think about that for a minute. On issues of morality the answer to that has to be a resounding “no.” Clan-think seems to bring out the worst in people, is and always has been wrong, and will probably continue to be wrong so long as the inhuman practice of statism, which allows some men to rule over others by initiatory force, keeps mankind in the dark ages. History shows that it is always a tireless and passionate minority which moves history along the right path, when it finally gets there. I also came across this quote from Plato which is both fitting and quite erudite in its own right:
That’s one of only two things that Plato ever said that I agree with, that I’m aware of. The other one: “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
Plato was a mystic, and it could be said that he is responsible for much of the murky, mystical-irrational philosophy that exists today. The philosophical yin to Plato’s yang is Aristotle, the father of science and reason, who was Plato’s student strangely enough.
The more robust of the 3 quotes here would have to be Heinlein’s, and the more scholarly, Plato’s about the price of apathy towards public affairs.
This is the unavoidable truth of leftist philosophy. Violence and coercion is the only means to implement it. It requires the support of those who don’t voluntarily offer their support, and force is the only means to achieve it.
There are only two essential political choices: voluntary interaction(Capitalism), and everything else, which, while slightly different in their implementation, require violence to enforce. These leftist variations of totalitarian statism include, but are not limited to, communism, socialism, and fascism.
While I’m on the subject, it is inaccurate of me to refer to Obama as a socialist. Socialism means state ownership of industry and business. Fascism is something more insidious and destructive, because it allows failed government policy to be passed off as a failure of private enterprise. Under fascism, private ownership may be retained, but all business and industry is controlled and centrally regulated by the state. Obama is, more accurately, a fascist. To be clear, I am not demagoguing or appealing to emotion — by his own policy advocacy, and the definition of fascism, Obama is a fascist. That is fact. Bush was a fascist. Each and every President for the last 100 years has been a fascist to some degree, although none as ideologically or purposefully as Obama.
The following is Francisco d’Anconia’s money monologue, from Atlas Shrugged… Enjoy!
Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation, “Don’t let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil–and he’s the typical product of money.”
Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.
“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor– your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?
“Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions–and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.
“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is MADE–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.
“To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except by the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss–the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery–that you must offer them values, not wounds–that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of GOODS. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when men live by trade–with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, then man of best judgment and highest ability–and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?
“But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality–the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.
“Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
“Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth–the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve that mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
“Money is your means of survival. The verdict which you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
“Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
“Or did you say it’s the LOVE of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.”
“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
“But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride, or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich–will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt–and of his life, as he deserves.
“Then you will see the rise of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of DISARMED victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
“Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
“Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’
“When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.
“You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while your damning its life-blood–money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves–slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody’s mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers–as industrialists.
“To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a COUNTRY OF MONEY–and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man’s mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being–the self-made man–the American industrialist.
“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose–because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to MAKE money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity–to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.
“Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters’ continents. Now the looters’ credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide-as, I think, he will.
“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out.”
This is a great interview with Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute on the morality of Capitalism. Given that the economic argument is so drastically one-sided in favor of freedom and Capitalism… why is it that we continually move towards more government, more statism, more leftist intervention in the lives of individuals and the economy?? The moral argument has been conceded, by even the most avid and skilled defenders of Capitalism — and that’s why political ground is lost, has been lost continuously for over 100 years, and will continue to be lost until we finally have complete statism and it collapses under its own weight, as it always does. Defenders of Capitalism must re-claim the moral high ground, which is rightfully ours.
The embedded cultural ideas which compel nearly everyone I talk to to assert that it is reprehensible to think one could possibly be right, that there is no right and wrong… is ridiculous, wrong, and a default on one’s responsibility to think, and to judge everything. …that’s right, you should judge everything. But, that requires you to know, and define, what you think, and what you’re basing those judgements on — and also to take responsibility for the results. And here we come to the source, I believe, of everyone’s desire to not judge anything, ever: laziness, fear, and dishonesty. Or possibly resignation, having been badgered and ridiculed into never thinking since they were knee high to a grasshopper, told since birth that nothing is right or wrong, but just a matter of opinion. Horseshit.
[The Cult of Moral Grayness by Ayn Rand]
One of the most eloquent symptoms of the moral bankruptcy of today’s culture, is a certain fashionable attitude toward moral issues, best summarized as: “There are no blacks and whites, there are only grays.”
This is asserted in regard to persons, actions, principles of conduct, and morality in general. “Black and white,” in this context, means “good and evil.” (the reverse order used in that catchphrase is interesting psychologically.)
In any respect one cares to examine, that notion is full of contradictions(foremost among them is the fallacy of “the stolen concept”). If there is no black and white, there can be no gray — since gray is merely a mixture of the two.
Before one can identify anything as “gray,” one has to know what is black and what is white. In the fleld of morality, this means that one must first identify what is good and what is evil. And when a man has ascertained that one alternative is good and the other is evil, he has no justification for choosing a mixture. There can be no justification for choosing any part of that which one knows to be evil. In morality, “black” is predominantly the result of attempting to pretend to oneself that one is merely “gray.”
If a moral code(such as altruism) is, in fact, impossible to practice, it is the code that must be condemned as “black,” not its victims evaluated as “gray.” If a moral code prescribes irreconcilable contradictions — so that by choosing the good in one respect, a man becomes evil in another — it is the code that must be rejected as “black.” If a moral code is inapplicable to reality — if it offers no guidance except a series of arbitrary, groundless, out-of-context injunctions and commandments, to be accepted on faith and practiced automatically, as blind dogma — its practitioners cannot properly be classified as “white” or “black” or “gray”: a moral code that forbids and paralyzes moral judgement is a contradiction in terms.
If, in a complex moral issue, a man struggles to determine what is right, and fails or makes an honest error, he cannot be regarded as “gray”; morally, he is “white.” Errors of knowledge are not breaches of morality; no proper moral code can demand infallability or omniscience.
But, if in order to escape the responsibility of moral judgement, a man closes his eyes and mind, if he evades the facts of the issue and struggles not to know, he cannot be regarded as “gray”; morally, he is as “black” as they come.
Many forms of confusion, uncertainty and epistemological sloppiness help to obscure the contradictions and to disguise the actual meaning of the doctrine of moral grayness.
Some people believe that it is merely a restatement of such bromides as “Nobody is perfect in this world” — i.e., everybody is a mixture of good and evil, and, therefore, morally “gray.” Since the majority of those one meets are likely to fit that description, people accept it as some sort of natural fact, without further thought. They forget that morality deals only with issues open to man’s choice(i.e., to his free will) — and, therefore, that no statistical generalizations are valid in this matter.
If man is “gray” by nature, no moral concepts are applicable to him, including “grayness,” and no such thing as morality is possible. But if man has free will, then the fact that ten(or ten million) men made the wrong choice, does not necessitate that the eleventh one will make it; it necessitates nothing — and proves nothing — in regard to any given individual.
There are many reasons why most people are morally imperfect, i.e., hold mixed, contradictory premises and values(the altruist morality is one of the reasons), but that is a different issue. Regardless of the reasons of their choices, the fact that most people are morally “gray,” does not invalidate man’s need of morality and of moral “whiteness”; if anything, it makes the need more urgent. Nor does it warrant the epistemological “package deal” of dismissing the problem by consigning all men to moral “grayness” and thus refusing to recognize or to practice “whiteness.” Nor does it serve as an escape from the responsibility of moral judgement: unless one is prepared to dispense with morality altogether and to regard a petty chiseller and a murderer as morally equal, one still has to judge and evaluate the many shadings of “gray” that one may encounter in the characters of individual men. (And the only way to judge them is by a clearly defined criterion of “black” and “white.”)
A similar notion, involving similar errors, is held by some people who believe that the doctrine of moral grayness is merely a restatement of the proposition “There are two sides to every issue,” which they take to mean that nobody is ever fully right or fully wrong. But that is not what the proposition means or implies. It implies only that in judging an issue, one should give cognizance of or give a hearing to both sides. This does not mean that the claims of both sides will necesssarily be equally valid, nor even that there will be some modicum of justice on both sides. More often than not, justice will be on one side, and unwarranted presumption(or worse) on the other.
There are, of course, complex issues in which both sides are right in some respects and wrong in others — and it is here that the “package deal” of pronouncing both sides “gray” is least permissable. It is in such issues that the most rigorous precision of moral judgement is required to identify and evaluate the various aspects involved — which can be done only by unscrambling the mixed elements of “black” and “white.”
The basic error in all these various confusions is the same: it consists of forgetting that morality deals only with issues open to man’s choice — which means: forgetting the difference between “unable” and “unwilling.” This permits people to translate the catch phrase “There are no blacks and whites” into: “Men are unable to be wholly good or wholly evil” — which they accept, in foggy resignation, without questioning the metaphysical contradictions it entails.
But not many people would accept it, if that catch phrase were translated into the actual meaning is is intended to smuggle into their minds: “Men are unwilling to be wholly good or wholly evil.”
The first thing one would say to any advocate of such a proposition, is: “Speak for yourself.” And that, in effect, is what he is actually doing, consciously or subconsciously, intentionally or inadvertently, when a man declares: “There are no blacks and whites,” he is making a psychological confession, and what he means is: “I am unwilling to be wholly good — but please don’t regard me as wholly evil!”
Just as, in epistemology, the cult of uncertainty is a revolt against reason — so, in ethics, the cult of moral grayness is a revolt against moral values. Both are a revolt against the absolutism of reality.
Just as the cult of uncertaintly could not succeed by an open rebellion against reason and, therefore struggles to elevate the negation of reason into some sort of superior reasoning — so the cult of moral grayness could not succeed by an open rebellion against morality, and struggles to elevate the negation of morality into a superior kind of virtue.
Observe the form in which one encounters that doctrine: it is seldom presented as a positive, as an ethical theory or a subject of discussion; predominantly, one hears it as a negative, as a snap objection or reproach, utterred in a manner implying that one is guilty of breaching an absolute so self-evident as to require no discussion. In tones ranging from astonishment to sarcasm to anger to indignation to hysterical hatred, the doctrine is thrown at you in the form of an accusatory: “Surely you don’t think in terms of black-and-white, do you?”
Prompted by confusion, helplessness and fear of the entire subject of morality, most people hasten to answer guiltily: “No, of course, I don’t,” without any clear idea of the nature of the accusation. They do not pause to grasp that accusation is saying, in effect: “Surely you are not so unfair as to discriminate between good and evil, are you?” — or: “Surely you are not so immoral as to believe in morality!”
Moral guilt, fear of moral judgment, and a plea for blanket forgiveness, are so obviously the motive of that catch phrase that a glance at reality would be sufficient to tell its proponents what an ugly confession they are uttering. But escape from reality is both a precondition and the goal of the cult of moral grayness.
Philisophically, that cult is a negation of morality — but psychologically, this is not its adherents’ goal. What they seek is not amorality, but something profoundly irrational — a nonabsolute, fluid, elastic, middle-of-the-road morality. They do not proclaim themselves “beyond good and evil” — they seek to preserve the “advantages” of both. They are not moral challengers, nor do they represent a medieval version of flamboyant evil worshippers. What gives them their peculiarly modern flavor is that they do not advocate selling one’s soul to the Devil; they advocate selling it piecemeal, bit by bit, to any retail bidder.
They are not a philosophical school of thought; they are the typical product of philosophical default — of the intellectual bankruptcy that has produced irrationalism in epistemology, a moral vacuum in ethics, and a mixed economy in politics. A mixed economy is an amoral war of pressure groups, devoid of principles, values or any reference to justice, a war whose ultimate weapon is the power of brute force, but whose outward form is a game of compromise. The cult of moral grayness is the ersatz morality which made it possible and to which men now cling in a panicky attempt to justify it.
Observe that their dominant overtone is not a quest for the “white,” but an obsessive terror over being branded “black”(and with good reason). Observe that they are pleading for a morality which would holdcompromise as its standard of value and would thus make it possible to gauge virtue by the number of values one is willing to betray.
The consequences and the “vested interests” of their doctrine are visible all around us.
Observe, in politics, that the term extremism has become a synonym of “evil,” regardless of the content of the issue(the evil is not what you are extreme about, but that you are “extreme” — i.e., consistent). Observe the phenomenon of the so-called neutralists in the United Nations: The “neutralists” are worse than merely neutral in the conflict between the United States and Soviet Russia; they are committed, on principle, to see no difference between the two sides, never to consider the merits of an issue, and always to seek a compromise, any compromise in any conflict — as, for instance, between an aggressor and an invaded country.
Observe, in literature, the emergence of a thing called anti-hero, whose distinction is that he possess no distinction — no virtues, no values, no goals, no character, no singificance — yet who occupies, in plays and novels, the position formerly held by a hero, with the story centered on his actions, even though he does nothing and gets nowhere. Observe that the term “good guys and bad guys” is used as a sneer — and, particularly in television, observe the revolt against happy endings, the demands that the “bad guys” be given an equal chance and an equal number of victories.
Like a mixed economy, men of mixed premises may be called “gray”; but, in both cases, the mixture does not remain “gray” for long. “Gray,” in this context, is merely a prelude to “black.” There may be “gray” men, but there can be no “gray” principles. Morality is a code of black and white. When and if men attempt a compromise, it is obvious which side will necessarily lose and which will necessarily profit.
Such are the reason why — when one is asked: “Surely you don’t think in terms of black-and-white, do you?” — the proper answer(in essence, if not in form) should be: “You’re damn right I do!”
Where there is arbitrary power over others through use of initiatory force, such as the government, the most power-hungry, unethical, and dishonest among us will be enticed by it.
When there is a government of men, and not a government of laws, such as in a pure democracy, where property and rights are subject to the vote, the most corruptible and unscrupulous among us will be drawn to its use.
We have given legitimacy to the criminal mindset by legitimizing initiatory force with democracy — stealing is still stealing, even if 90% vote for it. Regulation is initiatory force, no matter how many desire it. Ends cannot justify means.
Ethical and honest men/women seek to interact voluntarily, and accept nothing else.
Big-government Liberals and Conservatives. Union thugs. Environmentalists. Anti-abortion activists. Etc. Your philosophies are built on the tenet that it is proper to force others to do what you have decided is good. Do some introspection.