Monday, October 12, 2009

Reply to Tom Bowden

Mr Bowden wrote at

Here is my reply.

Greetings Mr Bowden

Thank you for your article. Despite my disagreement with your assessment, rest assured I like you and wish only the best for you and your family.

You wrote: "virtually all enthusiasm for celebrating the holiday has disappeared."

While Columbus himself was a religious mystic and supernaturalist, his intention to shorten trade routes was almost purely pragmatic. The tragic consequences of the Columbus expeditions are the motivation for the disenthusiastic response to the holiday. That is so because it is always morally wrong to murder and enslave people to steal their property. The estimate of numbers of American deaths resultant from the Spanish conquest ranges from a low of several millions to a high of one hundred millions of people who died from military attack, disease, or were worked to death in slavery. Many Objectivists will claim that use of technological innovations in and of themselves constitutes morality. This is false. How a technology is used and why determines if the actions involved are either moral or not. The Spanish Conquistadors were motivated by desire for plunder, rape, murder, forcing religious conversion, and slavery. Therefore, their use of superior military force and tools could not have been moral. If on the other hand, the Spanish had engaged in peaceful trade, offering the Americans education and friendship, then the actions of the Spanish would have been moral. So good people should not celebrate Columbus day because of the tragic consequences resultant from his voyages.

You mentioned: "the blossoming of Western civilization." Sir, Western Civilization is Christian Civilization. Christianity, like Judaism and Islam is gross superstition and exceedingly immoral because no person who is a Christian, Jew, or Muslim can reason rationally. The Americans were likewise silly mystics and hence morally equivalent to the Spanish. Morality is a step function and not a gradient of values because morality arises from the interaction of human cognition with material existence and is therefore objective. Morality cannot be a gradient of values because it would then be subjective. Hence no religious mystic can be moral.

You wrote: "finding fault with Columbus, America, and Western civilization for evils and tragedies that they did not create" Sir, you are major equivocating here. Columbus was the vanguard of the Spanish Conquistadors rather than a single actor on a stage as you assert. Columbus and the Conquest are a package deal.

America is a euphemism for the aggregate of cultures of the people who live under the legal jurisdiction of the political entity who occupies the seat of power in Washington DC and not the polity known as "The United States of America." In fact, the United States of America does not exist at all as I argued in my blog essay at

Again Western Civilization is Christian Civilization, religious nut jobbery, and mysticism and not a secular program of self improvement.

Aristotle, Newton, Locke, Pasteur, and Rockefeller had nothing to do with the immoral actions of the Conquistadors that renders Columbus Day offensive to the intelligent Objectivist. All those men were religious lunatics and hence irrational and thus immoral. That their achievements outlived them by virtue of beneficial effects is testament to the subjective nature of other's judgment in assigning moral value on a pragmatic basis. Objectivism rejects pragmatism as a basis for moralty.

You wrote: "liberate humanity from the miserable, stagnant poverty suffered by Indians in the Stone Age, and Europe in the Dark Ages."

Your essay is about Columbus's Day. He had nothing to do with the Dark Ages that came about due to the brutal subjugation of people in Europe by delusional military conquers in league with Christianity, "i.e.", the Catholic Church. The same church that encouraged the Conquistadors to forcibly convert the surviving Americans to their vile superstition. Instead of liberating, the Spanish murdered and enslaved the Americans. You may wish to review history again.

You Wrote: "the core values of Western civilization: reason and individualism." Sir Reason and Individualism are indeed valuable and worthy of celebration, but again Western Civilization being religious lunacy and superstition has nothing to do with either reason or individualism.

You wrote "No nation on earth is more entitled to celebrate those values than the United States of America, which is history’s shining example of their life-serving power." Sir, that is delusional nonsense. First a nation is a group of people who together form a political entity and not the resultant political entity, so United States of America is not a nation. It would be, if it actually obtained, instead a Federal Republic. But as I argued in my blog the USA does not obtain. See the link above.

Regarding "entitled", by whose standard? Almost all the people who live under the totalitarian jurisdiction of the government in the seat of power at Washington DC that styles itself the "United States" are delusional religious mystics of some sort. They are grossly irrational and consequently immoral. Their judgments are then in error and any opinion of “entitlement” is simply that.

You wrote: "history’s shining example of their life-serving power" Sir, since the political entity falsely identified by most people as the “United State of America” has never abided by by the rule of law and is currently in gross violations of the founding documents that define the USA, said political entity is only an example of brigandage and banditry, murder and plunder, Stateism and Romanticism. That can hardly be called good in any sense.

You wrote: "It’s time to take back Columbus Day, to reclaim it as a patriotic holiday, an occasion for Americans to honor the great explorer who wrote the first chapter in our nation’s illustrious history." No sir. That is wrong. Objectivists should abhore the State and seek to bind it up in chains of law to protect themselves from the evils of delusional people who think the State is a virtue. While a minarchist state is a necessary evil to allow citizens to jointly defend against brigandage and banditry and military attack, the all powerful totalitarian State the occupies the seat of power in Washington DC is an abomination to all mankind because it is run by and for delusional religious lunatics. The objectivist should honor the trader principle and seek only peace and free trade ala laissez-faire capitalism. As an axiomatic corollary then the objectivist should seek to live under those states that are most friendly to personal liberty, individualism, and laissez-faire. The political entity styled by delusional Americans as the USA does not fit that morally correct attribute.

However, it is likely the case that the political entity occupying the place of the USA will soon collapse like the former USSR did resultant from the fiscal extravagances of its rouge and outlaw government. May it fail and be swept into the dust bin of history.

Best Wishes and Warmest Regards for Your Success

Robert Bumbalough