The Whole Sordid Affair

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Submitted by User hidden on Sun, 2006-05-28 18:54

I wish I was writing about a sordid affair I was having here in Atlanta. But instead, I am going to say my piece about the Brandens, PARC, Linz, ARI, and all that jazz. Linz asked me to post something, and I will, mostly because I want to praise him a lot. He deserves it.

First, let me say, I was never taken in by Nathaniel Branden. His website and the hatefulness of his "memoirs" (Can they be called that when you make them up?) were enough to show me what an ungrateful distorter of a philosophy he must have understood at one time he is. Barbara on the other hand had me fooled. I saw from her posts on the old SOLO that she wasn't really an Objectivist. (I am one of those who thinks that that word has real referents in reality.) But aside from that, she seemed a nice old lady to me. I admired her book, and I enjoyed her comments by and large.

Then, I read PARC.

While the style irritated me quite a bit, I was blown away by the content. I was also blown away by how well documented it was. I could have no doubts about the Brandens' characters after that. I was wonderfully uplifted after reading it because it restored my love for Ayn Rand. I never renounced her philosophy because of what Barbara Branden said about her life, but I had given up some of my delight in her spirit. I'm so glad that Mr. Valliant restored it for me.

So anyway, I know now that Barbara Branden is not a nice old lady. Nice old ladies do not lie about my heroes. Nice old ladies do not associate with a skunk like MSK. Nice old ladies do not do violence on purpose to my values.

Now, on to Linz. Linz, I have been so impressed with you. I have followed you since I left the old SOLO. You are such an interesting character that I had to know what would happen with you next. Little did I imagine that the next thing I saw would be one of the best shows of integrity I have seen in the world. You read the book; you saw the facts; you changed your mind; you stood up for the truth. That is heroism. There are many things I suspect we disagree on (I am a hip-hop dancing fool, for one. Smiling), but I think we agree that good people pursue the truth to hell if they have to. It's nice though, that in the world, the truth never leads us to hell and the consequences for righteousness are always good in the end. Your good consequences, aside from the pride you must feel, are this site and some excellent changes I see in you. I think you are more properly judgemental now and harder in a good way. I hope it won't sound condescending to say that I am proud of you and what you have done. I mean it with the utmost respect.

On to ARI. I have always thought ARI was right about David Kelley, TOC, Libertarians, and judgement. I have thought, however, that the old guard there might run the movement into the ground. Enter Yaron Brooke. Exit my fears. Since he has been at the helm, I've been loving their direction and giving them money when I can afford it. Like Shayne Wissler (are you still here?), I do have some criticisms (the Reisman affair, the unwillingness of the upper eschelons to argue philosophical disagreements between themselves in public, the attitude about women that has not yet died out though its source has, the often annoying, boring, and aggressive personalities of some the higher-ups). But, I think they are doing a great job of spreading what I consider the true version of Objectivism.

There, now I've said my piece and claimed my allegiance publically. I never have feared I'd end up in Dante's anteroom for fence sitters (I might go to the circle reserved for lusty and unrepentant women, though). I don't love talking about this stuff; it just grosses me out to think about all the crappy things these folks did and all the people who are just licking it all up like cream when it's been shown to be arsenic. So, from now on, I think my blogs and posts and emails will be more fun, more focused on my values, and much more drenched in exclamation points.


( categories: )

Victor

James S. Valliant's picture

Thank you.

Brendan,

Casey's picture

You gave me a nice howl of laughter to start the day. Much appreciated. Thank you, sir.

Coincidence? think not.

Brendan Hutching's picture

Casey: “Go suck up to the filthy liars who smeared Ayn Rand's corpse to cover up their own exploitation of her achievements, values, trust, body, and legacy to line their own pockets and keep them farting through silk.”

This is spooky, Casey. You’re not the first person to have noticed the fundamental flaw in Nathaniel Branden’s character – his penchant for what the ladies used to call ‘fluffing’. But this is the first time I’ve read a specific identification of Branden’s preference in undergarments. Silk drawers, indeed!

I have a theory about this, and not just because Branden's obfuscations over the Rand affair have always struck a bum note. When people lie, their body language often betrays them. Branden, as we know, spent many an hour with Rand as she struggled to get to the bottom of his ‘psychological’ problems. The stress on Branden from such systematic deception must have been intense, and the inexorable build-up of internal pressure would surely have created an overwhelming desire to vent.

But since Rand was firmly committed to the mind/body integration, Branden could hardly let rip in her presence without betraying his inner conflict. Perhaps he hit upon the expedient of donning silk drawers and passing gentle wafts -- rather than dropping the whole context, as it were -- in the hope that the silk would sanitise the worst effects of his guilt-laden emissions.

But I doubt that this fooled Rand’s keen nose for the facts. It may well be that the silken whiff of corruption was the smoking gun that lead Rand to smell a rat and conclude that her erstwhile hero was a stinking rotter.

The saddest aspect of this whole business is Branden’s failure to learn from his mistakes, and his attachment to the belief that a pair of silk boxers might still protect his sorry arse. Your expose has blown away that flimsy cover and brought a breath of fresh air to the Objectivist movement.

Brendan

Brant -

Boaz the Boor's picture

"LOLLOLLOLLOL is much more coherent and rational"

That's intrinsicism. Whether it's rational or not depends on the content in the person's brain at the time, not the words he chose. Smiling

I guess I'm just being difficult.

P.S.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

(Happy June Everyone!)

Victor

eg's picture

It's not LOLLOLLOLLOL but LOLOLOLOL. It drove me nuts. LOLLOLLOLLOL is much more coherent and rational.

--Brant

Victor ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You can see the self-immolation of MSK here:

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

And read my take on the Barbara debacle here:

http://solohq.solopassion.com/...

Re Jim Peron: no one charged him with pedophilia as such, but rather with publishing pedophiliac material & supporting the pedophile organisation NAMBLA. He was thrown out of NZ after Madeleine Flanagan, a Christian whom Peron had hounded, tracked down a copy of Unbound (the pedophile magazine Peron had published in the 90s) and got it tabled in Parliament. Barbara's defending Peron was an issue between us, but not the biggie. Read my article & all should become clear.

Hmmm, I see. As Spock would

Banned User's picture

Hmmm, I see. As Spock would say, “Fascinating.” Thanks, Adam, for answering these questions.

Free will is something else. That the Brandens could be the type of people they were (are) after knowing Ayn Rand’s philosophy as deeply as they do—-and also spending a great chuck of their lives with the 20th century's greatest philosopher—-moral and epistemologist philosopher...is nothing less than astonishing (and sad, very sad).

And it’s not that N. Branden is an idiot. His saving grace is the work he has accomplished, professionally.

As for MSK: I couldn't take this guy at all...one more LOLLOLLOLLOL, and I was going to lose it! Smiling

Victor

Adam Buker's picture

Barbara left of her own accord on the old SoloHQ. What happened was that she was trying to defend her longtime friend Jim Peron from charges of pedophilia. When confronted with the evidence of such, she evaded and got malicious. Her friend James Kilbourne published an article entitled "Drooling Beast" which accused Linz of being an alcoholic. Linz ran it since those that knew him (and even those who don't) would be able to tell that this article was a smear campaign in the guise of 'help.' Barbara posted her support of the article. After blows were exchanged, she left in disgrace.

MSK, was a poster on SoloHQ at the time. He did not make a decision and was friendly to both camps for a period of time. After he published an article that advocated turning the other cheek to one's enemies, he became more flaky, dishonest and out of touch till an insulting brigade ended up with him getting the boot from Solo Passion. For some strange reason he's still active at Rebirth of Reason (and what he's done there is even worse).

Adam
www.adambuker.com

Lindsay.

Banned User's picture

Thanks Lindsay. While I'm at it: God bless you, too! I love your writing style and passion. I have read your “Fire in the Belly” lecture (the exact name of the title escapes me now) and it blew me away. I had to forward it to some friends.
Listen, I’m new to Solo, and I was curious to ask: was B. Branden booted off this site with the publication of Valliant’s book, or did she leave on her own accord? And also, what’s the case with this Michael Stewart Kelly? Is it just me…or is this guy a complete dick? (my spider-senses went off reading his posts as they did reading the Brandens;)

Penelope

User hidden's picture

I'll hunt up the source of that quote and get back to you.

Kelly

As for Ciro ...

he now faces the choice of starting the downward spiral of repeated signoffs and increasing hostile posts until his account is moderated, or he will learn the error in his premises and come to his senses.

Ciro

eg's picture

I'm sorry to see you go. I was going to tell you about the missionary position.

--Brant

Kelly

Penelope's picture

I agree with the liking submission thing. I just don't orient myself to a person rather than to reality. That would be second handed in a man or a woman.

Where did Ayn Rand say anything otherwise?

Victor ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I, for one, have never been taken in by either N. Branden or B.Branden. I saw through both of them. I remember first reading those books, and in a state of increasing frustration I would black and red pen marginalia all the glaring contradictions, the snide asides, the half-truths, the self-serving—but ultimately insincere---passages that complimented Rand just to knock her down.

I wish I had been as perspicacious as you. I know now that "ultimately insincere" says it all. These two wrote the manual on insincerity, informed by Iago-like malice & cunning. I too am delighted to see them brought to justice while still alive, an achievement for which history will salute James Valliant. God bless him indeed.

Linz

Casey ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You're right. Go suck up to the filthy liars who smeared Ayn Rand's corpse to cover up their own exploitation of her achievements, values, trust, body, and legacy to line their own pockets and keep them farting through silk. The Brandens love suckers like you. Lap it up, lapdog.

Magnificently KASS post, which should be taken to heart by all "tolerationists" who want to cut our tongues out while lying, or defending liars, with their own!

I'm sad about Ciro, though. He's way better than the others at O-Lying, and way better than his silly posts yesterday. He's a crazy Italian who loves Lanza, so he can't be a Brandroid deep down. His account remains open - he can still post here any time.

Linz

Sorry, Jen

Casey's picture

If that weren't the case...

No apologies needed Adam.

JoeM's picture

No apologies needed Adam.

Ciro,

Casey's picture

You're right. Go suck up to the filthy liars who smeared Ayn Rand's corpse to cover up their own exploitation of her achievements, values, trust, body, and legacy to line their own pockets and keep them farting through silk.

The Brandens love suckers like you. Lap it up, lapdog.

And quit bragging about how you fuck your girlfriend. Leave that to your guru Nathaniel Branden -- he's done enough of that for the both of you.

Thank you, Casey.

Prima Donna's picture

However, seeing how you are madly in love with a wonderful woman, shut up. Smiling

Kelly, I agree that one should always refer to reality vs. another human being. If my comment came across that way I didn't mean for it to, and I'd be happy to clarify if need be.


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Kelly, thanks for your post.

Banned User's picture

Kelly, thanks for your post. You took the words right out of my mouth. I have been meaning to get my two-cents in on this subject.

For years Ayn Rand has been the victim of posthumous portrayals of her life and character taken by Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden. This volatile book lays to rest the myths promulgated by the Brandens' books. Throughout the years I have seen those trash books make their way into popular and scholarly debates about Rand's life and work, from academic journals to Hollywood movies.

I, for one, have never been taken in by either N. Branden or B.Branden. I saw through both of them. I remember first reading those books, and in a state of increasing frustration I would black and red pen marginalia all the glaring contradictions, the snide asides, the half-truths, the self-serving—but ultimately insincere---passages that complimented Rand just to knock her down.

I use to argue bitterly with friends over the question of the Bradens---and get this: can you imagine me, an Objectivist, being accused of being “too extreme”---by fellow Objectivists! I recall setting down with a few of my friends watching (out of a nagging curiously) that junk movie “The Passion of Ayn Rand” and I was literally seething in my seat as my friends sat straight-faced or rapt. Another argument ensued and this time I had that stupid, idiotic canard tossed at me: ‘Are you turning into some ARI drone?” Arrrgh!

Of course, as the years moved along, I suffered all the cultural instances of Rand’s name being raked in the mud by commentaries and writers--whose sources had been—all too obviously—-from the Branden books. One such other example is when I saw a play called 'The Emotionalists'---a trash play based on B. Branden's trash book.

There had been many times when I would ask myself: Isn’t there anybody out there who will answer to the Brandens? I will happily offer them by marked books, notes and insights to expose these two frauds. I would have been happy to co-write the book! (or do I flatter myself?)

Ah, these Brandens! Judgment Day? Ha! Even the original title of the book reeks of vendetta. Is everybody blind to this? When will the day come? When will the day come when the Brandens are finally exposed? Well, the that day came. One brave and hard-working soul stood up. You can't imagine how happy I was when I first heard of the James Valliant's book.

Mr. James Valliant, I salute you. And even thought I’m an atheist, I'll say it: God bless you.

Don't worry, girls,

Casey's picture

It doesn't hurt your chances with men one bit. Not confident men, at least. We treasure you as much as we seek to conquer you. Eye

Being an Ayn

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Being an Ayn Rand appassionato, and of the Brandens later, I read and researched all that which this great trio had written and propagated about objectivism. I discovered solohq about a year ago, since then, many things have happened, but the most important thing is that  beside the many fights and name calling, I was still able to learn about objectivism and life issues in general.
Lately, I find myself disagreeing with the majority of people on this forum, with whom I would not associate in my personal life, because they are people with a different sense of life, and with a different agenda than mine.
 Linz. your acquaintance has been of great pleasure to me, I think it is time for me to leave.
 I do not think is correct to write and be a member of a forum where I do not belong.
Ciao.

Ciro D'Agostino

Ciro D'Agostino

Oh brother!

Adam Buker's picture

"How do you consider a person who comes here on a public forum and tells everybody about his girlfriend's private life ? Do you expect me then to respect such a retarded when he suggests me to read PARC?" -Ciro

If this is the kind of shit you're going to fling at me. I'm through responding to you. However let's get a coulple of things straight. I know how to make love to my girlfriend. All I asked about was advanced techniques beyond the basics. Beyond that, I've not revealed hardly anything about my girlfriend's private life. You should know that since you posted on that particular forum It was grossly innappropriate to bring that subject up here and it was also inappropriate to speak of my private life when you don't even know me personally.

My first post to you wasn't insulting. I asked two very simple questions. There was no obligation for you to answer. I asked because I thought there was a possibility (however remote) that you might be mistaken about the issues at hand. I now see that you would rather engage in ad hominems against me on the basis of two questions I asked rather than discuss those questions.

You sir, are a disgrace to Objectivism and to yourself.

www.adambuker.com

PS My apologies for the hijack.

I agree with the liking

User hidden's picture

I agree with the liking submission thing. I just don't orient myself to a person rather than to reality. That would be second handed in a man or a woman.

Kelly

Oh, Fine!

Prima Donna's picture

I didn't want to veer further off topic, but since everyone is now asking me anyway, I'll repost it (to utter anticlimactic effect. Way to oversell it, Linz. Smiling).

Here's what I said:

I also agree with Rand's views on masculinity and femininity, though I wouldn't necessarily limit them (for myself) to the sexual. As an aggressive, intelligent woman I want a man who is also those things, but more so, even if just a little bit. For me it's the desire to have someone to look up to, which is why I identify with Rand's thoughts on hero worship. I think she expressed the absence of that dynamic best when she penned Dagny's line following her debut: "There wasn't one I couldn't squash ten of."

The roots of that, however, seem to be sexual just the same, as it all boils down to the conqueror and the conquered.

(That either killed all of my dating prospects or gave them a shot in the arm. Smiling)

Dammit, Dildo ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That last post just about turned me straight.

Then you go & delete it.

Damn!

Smiling

deleted

Prima Donna's picture

deleted

Look, Robert, first)I don't

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Look, Robert: I don't have any personal or private relationship with Barbara. I defend all that, which I consider to be of value to me. 

 I thought that words like: va' fan culo, are  not as bad as compared to what the owner of this forum has called  me and others on previous occasions.

 How do  you consider a person who comes here on a public forum and tells everybody about  his girlfriend's private life ? Do you expect me then to respect such a retarded when he suggests me to read PARC? 

 How do you expect me to respect Kelly? She, After a year away from solo, comes back with an article full of hatred toward Barbara, who she refered as a "Nice old lady" do you call this good mannor? then,She writes: Linz told me  to write something...? couldn't she find a better subject to write about? etc...etc...

Seven little words...

Ross Elliot's picture

"The assymetry is limited to the sexual."

Word Eye

Sex et al

DianaHsieh's picture

Fred said, "Furthermore we have an abundance of KASS women scholars, lecturers and writers - including notable new additions, such as Diana."

While we're on these topics, I might as well mention that I agree with Ayn Rand's view of masculinity and femininity. That doesn't mean that I submit to Paul's wisdom or authority in the slighest. (That would be the Christian view.) Paul has zero hope of gaining control over the TV remote. And the dogs think I'm the alpha since I'm more tough than him. The assymetry is limited to the sexual.

Also, I don't think agreement with AR is the majority opinion amongst the ARI Objectivists I know. Quite the opposite, I suspect. The few that I do know who share it do not hold it as any kind of dogma whatsoever, but rather based upon their own personal introspective experience. (That's one reason why it's so hard to justify -- or even articulate.) Certainly, I've never seen anything remotely resembling sexism from any ARI-affiliated folks. I've not even seen it from supporters, but some people are loons, so I'm sure some sexist ARI supporters exist somewhere.

As a more general point, I strongly recommend that anyone sympathetic with ARI but worried about some issues attend one of Yaron Brook's "State of ARI" talk. (If you're on the ARI mailing list, you should be informed of them when they come to your area.) Yaron will answer polite but tough questions. And you might be surprised to hear what he says. (I've certainly been floored by his openess at times.) If your questions are about particular people still associated with ARI, I'd recommend that you ask in semi-private either before or after the session. So long as you ask politely -- rather than accusing from the getgo -- you will be answered in kind.

-- Diana Hsieh
diana@dianahsieh.com
NoodleFood

Plus, Penelope, there is

Fred Weiss's picture

Plus, Penelope, there is nothing there in contradiction to KASS. Look at AR herself.

Furthermore we have an abundance of KASS women scholars, lecturers and writers - including notable new additions, such as Diana.

Kelly

Penelope's picture

Okay, that's clarifying. Although full disclosure, I agree with Ayn Rand on the issue of masculinity and femininity--I don't think, however, that you're accurately describing her view. By my eyes, Ayn Rand was very clear: women are the equal of men in every respect except physically (we're not as strong and such), and that this has implications for our sexual identities. I know in my case, I experience my sexuality as looking up to the man I love, as depending on him in a certain way, and my pleasure comes from submitting to him. I can't speak for men, but presumably, their experience is very different, a form of conquest or somesuch. I dunno. I don't know if these are universal attitudes. I guess they aren't. But they are certainly legitimate, and there is nothing anti-woman about holding them.

The Woman Thing

User hidden's picture

Penelope,

Here is what I was talking about with the attitude that has infiltrated Objectivism since Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand said that men are oriented to reality and women are oriented to men. She believed that a woman would not make a good president. She thought that "She's the smartest man I ever knew" was a compliment when applied to her. A lot of Objectivists have swallowed that stuff whole. Since her philosophy is so true, I guess they think everything she ever uttered and every application she ever made must be true too. Anyway, since we talked above about being clear whether we are talking about ARI as an organization or just members of it, I'll be very clear that I am talking about individuals who are associated with ARI. I have seen this attitude in several personal encounters with ARI intellectuals, and my general impression of the culture of ARI supporters is that they agree with Ayn Rand. How can I blame ARI for this? I don't exactly, but I do think they should encourage intellectuals to do application work to clear up this kind of crap (and Peikoff or Binswanger or someone should long ago have talked about it) since it started with Ayn Rand. But, this isn't a huge concern for me. I know that in the next several generations of Objetivists, seeing kick ass women will force that attitude into submission to reality. And like I said, and want to emphasize again, I think that ARI is doing a fabulous job of spreading pure and true Objectivist philosophy, and that will help everyone figure out all the applications in the long run.

Kelly

Ciro D'Agostino...

Robert's picture

poster child for Risperdal, either that or he needs adjust his truss!

You seem to have hit every rational and logical high note with

"I don't take advices from those who ask other people how to fuck his own girlfriend"
"va fu' n' culo"

Very sharp, very cutting! I look forward to your next installment, quivering with anticipation, your eloquence and succinctness is compelling. Barbara must be so pleased with your defence of her reputation.

Kelly

Penelope's picture

Didn't mean to be hostile. I don't think I was being. I'll be more careful to avoid that from here on. But I don't think I have too much to add to what I said before. A few glances:

I do know that Peikoff himself said it was a personal split. Not acceptable to me. Also, and more weighty for me, I know that the Ayn Rand Bookstore doesn't sell Reisman's book _Capitalism_. That is a travesty.

Why is that not acceptable? Say George Reisman or his wife was doing something immoral, but something that didn't pertain to their role as spokesmen for Objectivism. I would think that the thing to do would be to disassociate with such people, since you couldn't deal with them, but not to make what's private public. At the very least, don't you think that's a legtimate perspective for people like Leonard Peikoff to take?

But as to the second point, I do think Reisman's book is valuable. (Haven't read the whole thing though.) But I can completely understand not promoting the work of someone you think is immoral, and who is hostile to you, and (through his association with the Mises Institute people) is himself promoting enemies of Objectivism. I think that's a legitimate perspective too. It isn't like there's an effort to suppress Reisman's work. Didn't Andrew Bernstein even cite it in his new book?

My point isn't that you should necessarily agree with those choices, but rather that you should recognize them as points of honest disagreement. Not something ARI has to atone for.

I was thinking of more philosophical disagreements than most of the ones you listed above. A friend of mine who worked at ARI for a long time heard Binswanger and Peikoff arguing infinitum about a disagreement they had on free will, but they didn't ever bring it public because (so they said to him) they didn't want to splinter the movement. I think they should treat other Objectivists like adults with volition, and bring forward discussions like that that could be useful to so many others.

Could be true, I don't know. And if so, I would agree, there's no reason to hide disagreement of this sort. But that is one issue between two individuals. What does it have to do with ARI as an organization? I think your original post implied that this is a widespread phenomenon--is it? What are some other examples?

The appropriate thing to do in such a case is to ask me what I mean and refrain from comment until you have an idea what I mean.

That's fair. What did you mean?

Last point. The main thing I'm driving at is that there are two issues we should avoid conflating--our judgments of individuals and our judgments of ARI as an organization. I don't know any of the individuals associated with ARI, but I can imagine that there are those among them who deserve criticisms. But that should be kept separate, in my humblest of opions, from our evaluation of ARI as an organization worthy of our support. Another angle: it is not a black mark on ARI that maybe this or that individual associated with them in some delimited capacity deserves a black mark.

Penelope, I would be glad to

User hidden's picture

Penelope,

I would be glad to discuss these things with you, but I have no idea why your tone is so hostile. I will continute to be polite, but not for long.

>Who "they"? ARI as an organization or individuals who worked at ARI or intellectuals associated with ARI? And what form of acknowledgment are you asking for? Should they have a section on their website? "About Ayn Rand. About Objectivism. About how we used to suck." ??? Oh, oh, oh...I almost forgot! ARI has admitted to errors. Think back to the tsunami mess! Gee-wow.

They might admit to any faults they agree with me on in their subscriber newsletter. That would be graceful. The errors I believe they have made are discussed below.

>the Reisman affair

>Do you actually know what the Reisman affair was all about? To my knowledge, ARI has never said. All we have are the Reisman's side of it. But not just that. ARI has even said anything about Reisman or his wife, so why apologize to us for an internal decision to remove them from the board of directors? But not just that either. George Reisman has since made common cause with the Mises Institute, which is full of anarchists hostile to Ayn Rand. That alone (oh, and his unfair review of the Ayn Rand Q&A) is good enough reason to conclude that ARI probably had good reasons to get rid of him!

I do know that Peikoff himself said it was a personal split. Not acceptable to me. Also, and more weighty for me, I know that the Ayn Rand Bookstore doesn't sell Reisman's book _Capitalism_. That is a travesty.

>the unwillingness of the upper eschelons to argue philosophical disagreements between themselves in public

>Huh? Isn't that precisely what happened with the David Kelley issues? Isn't that what we've seen with TIA vs. ARI & The Objective Standard on the war? Or Leonard Peikoff's review of Alan Gothelf's book on Ayn Rand? And what about all the public disagreements between Objectivist physicists and economists and historians? My friend even told me there was a huge debate on HBL on the nature of altruism and self-sacrifice that had Petere Schwartz disagreeing with, um, I dunno, I think maybe it was Ed Locke. So what disagreements do you have in mind? Who between?

I was thinking of more philosophical disagreements than most of the ones you listed above. A friend of mine who worked at ARI for a long time heard Binswanger and Peikoff arguing infinitum about a disagreement they had on free will, but they didn't ever bring it public because (so they said to him) they didn't want to splinter the movement. I think they should treat other Objectivists like adults with volition, and bring forward discussions like that that could be useful to so many others.

>the attitude about women that has not yet died out though its source has

>HUH? I have no idea what this could mean. Really now, Ayn Rand was an XX after all!

The appropriate thing to do in such a case is to ask me what I mean and refrain from comment until you have an idea what I mean. Really now!

>the often annoying, boring, and aggressive personalities of some the higher-ups

>I'm sorry Kelly, gotta say that this makes no sense to me. ARI is supposed to apologize for this? It would be a breach of justice to say, "You are an expert in Objectivism, but you get on my nerves so get the hell out of here!" In fact, isn't that what people condemn ARI for doing to Reisman and his wife? Isn't the complaint that they kicked them out of the movement based on personality issues?

No, I would not expect ARI to apologize for that. I would expect individual members of the board and certain intellectuals to behave civilly and apologize that they haven't in the past. I certainly never suggested booting them out. I'm no fan of Peikoff's personality, but I'll be grateful forever for OPAR.

>So to my eyes there is nothing for ARI to admit or apologize for. Certainly, some individuals associated with ARI have made mistakes, and there may be even a few who are immoral. Who knows? But ARI I think should only be held responsible for the actions it takes as an organization. Those are the only judgments I can see being important for us as outsiders.

But as I have said, I am not an outsider. I give them money and associate socially with them at conferences and buy many of their tapes and worry about the image ARI portrays to new Objectivists. It very much is my business. In fact, moral judgements of anyone and everyone that I have facts about are my business.

Kelly

Penelope, I would be glad to

User hidden's picture

Penelope,

I would be glad to discuss these things with you, but I have no idea why your tone is so hostile. I will continute to be polite, but not for long.

>Who "they"? ARI as an organization or individuals who worked at ARI or intellectuals associated with ARI? And what form of acknowledgment are you asking for? Should they have a section on their website? "About Ayn Rand. About Objectivism. About how we used to suck." ??? Oh, oh, oh...I almost forgot! ARI has admitted to errors. Think back to the tsunami mess! Gee-wow.

They might admit to any faults they agree with me on in their subscriber newsletter. That would be graceful. The errors I believe they have made are discussed below.

>the Reisman affair

>Do you actually know what the Reisman affair was all about? To my knowledge, ARI has never said. All we have are the Reisman's side of it. But not just that. ARI has even said anything about Reisman or his wife, so why apologize to us for an internal decision to remove them from the board of directors? But not just that either. George Reisman has since made common cause with the Mises Institute, which is full of anarchists hostile to Ayn Rand. That alone (oh, and his unfair review of the Ayn Rand Q&A) is good enough reason to conclude that ARI probably had good reasons to get rid of him!

I do know that Peikoff himself said it was a personal split. Not acceptable to me. Also, and more weighty for me, I know that the Ayn Rand Bookstore doesn't see Reisman's book _Capitalism_. That is a travesty.

>the unwillingness of the upper eschelons to argue philosophical disagreements between themselves in public

>Huh? Isn't that precisely what happened with the David Kelley issues? Isn't that what we've seen with TIA vs. ARI & The Objective Standard on the war? Or Leonard Peikoff's review of Alan Gothelf's book on Ayn Rand? And what about all the public disagreements between Objectivist physicists and economists and historians? My friend even told me there was a huge debate on HBL on the nature of altruism and self-sacrifice that had Petere Schwartz disagreeing with, um, I dunno, I think maybe it was Ed Locke. So what disagreements do you have in mind? Who between?

I was thinking of more philosophical disagreements than most of the ones you listed above. A friend of mine who worked at ARI for a long time heard Binswanger and Peikoff arguing infinitum about a disagreement they had on free will, but they didn't ever bring it public because (so they said to him) they didn't want to splinter the movement. I think they should treat other Objectivists like adults with volition, and bring forward discussions like that that could be useful to so many others.

>the attitude about women that has not yet died out though its source has

>HUH? I have no idea what this could mean. Really now, Ayn Rand was an XX after all!

The appropriate thing to do in such a case is to ask me what I mean and refrain from comment until you have an idea what I mean. Really now!

>the often annoying, boring, and aggressive personalities of some the higher-ups

>I'm sorry Kelly, gotta say that this makes no sense to me. ARI is supposed to apologize for this? It would be a breach of justice to say, "You are an expert in Objectivism, but you get on my nerves so get the hell out of here!" In fact, isn't that what people condemn ARI for doing to Reisman and his wife? Isn't the complaint that they kicked them out of the movement based on personality issues?

No, I would not expect ARI to apologize for that. I would expect individual members of the board and certain intellectuals to behave civilly and apologize that they haven't in the past. I certainly never suggested booting them out. I'm no fan of Peikoff's personality, but I'll ve grateful forever for OPAR.

>So to my eyes there is nothing for ARI to admit or apologize for. Certainly, some individuals associated with ARI have made mistakes, and there may be even a few who are immoral. Who knows? But ARI I think should only be held responsible for the actions it takes as an organization. Those are the only judgments I can see being important for us as outsiders.

But as I have said, I am not an outsider. I give them money and associate socially with them at conferences and buy many of their tapes and worry about the image ARI portrays to new Objectivists. It very much is my business. In fact, moral judgements of anyone and everyone that I have facts about are my business.

Kelly

To Kelly

Penelope's picture

It matters to me what they did in the past because they have never acknoledged their faults.

Who "they"? ARI as an organization or individuals who worked at ARI or intellectuals associated with ARI? And what form of acknowledgment are you asking for? Should they have a section on their website? "About Ayn Rand. About Objectivism. About how we used to suck." ??? Oh, oh, oh...I almost forgot! ARI has admitted to errors. Think back to the tsunami mess! Gee-wow.

But even your list of faults I find pretty unconvincing. I'm no expert on all this by the way, so if there's something I'm missing, lemme know, okay?

the Reisman affair

Do you actually know what the Reisman affair was all about? To my knowledge, ARI has never said. All we have are the Reisman's side of it. But not just that. ARI has even said anything about Reisman or his wife, so why apologize to us for an internal decision to remove them from the board of directors? But not just that either. George Reisman has since made common cause with the Mises Institute, which is full of anarchists hostile to Ayn Rand. That alone (oh, and his unfair review of the Ayn Rand Q&A) is good enough reason to conclude that ARI probably had good reasons to get rid of him!

the unwillingness of the upper eschelons to argue philosophical disagreements between themselves in public

Huh? Isn't that precisely what happened with the David Kelley issues? Isn't that what we've seen with TIA vs. ARI & The Objective Standard on the war? Or Leonard Peikoff's review of Alan Gothelf's book on Ayn Rand? And what about all the public disagreements between Objectivist physicists and economists and historians? My friend even told me there was a huge debate on HBL on the nature of altruism and self-sacrifice that had Petere Schwartz disagreeing with, um, I dunno, I think maybe it was Ed Locke. So what disagreements do you have in mind? Who between?

the attitude about women that has not yet died out though its source has

HUH? I have no idea what this could mean. Really now, Ayn Rand was an XX after all!

the often annoying, boring, and aggressive personalities of some the higher-ups

I'm sorry Kelly, gotta say that this makes no sense to me. ARI is supposed to apologize for this? It would be a breach of justice to say, "You are an expert in Objectivism, but you get on my nerves so get the hell out of here!" In fact, isn't that what people condemn ARI for doing to Reisman and his wife? Isn't the complaint that they kicked them out of the movement based on personality issues?

There are boring and annoying people everywhere, and when you're evaluating them for your own individual purposes, that's very very relevant. If somebody's annoying or boring, don't spend time with them. (Although full disclosure, I don't mind aggressive personalities...) But it's absolutely irrelevant in the context of a philosophical movement, or an organization. Example: most successful CEOs (definitely the boss at my company) are very aggressive, terse, etc. But so long as they are good CEOs, those negative character traits (assuming they're negative) are irrelevant.

So to my eyes there is nothing for ARI to admit or apologize for. Certainly, some individuals associated with ARI have made mistakes, and there may be even a few who are immoral. Who knows? But ARI I think should only be held responsible for the actions it takes as an organization. Those are the only judgments I can see being important for us as outsiders.

I don't take advices from

Adam Buker's picture

I don't take advices from those who ask other people how to fuck his own girlfriend, thank you! D'Agostino

LEAVE ME AND MY GIRLFRIEND OUT OF THIS YOU MOTHER FUCKER!
www.adambuker.com

June, June, June...

Prima Donna's picture

I'm working on the calendar now, so prepare thyself. They don't call it Hotlanta for nuthin'. Eye

And you're welcome. Smiling


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Oopsie...

Prima Donna's picture

double post deleted -- got all excited at the thought of going dancing Smiling


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Jennifer - you doll!

User hidden's picture

Thank you darling for saying those things about me. I cannot wait to see you again and hang out. I don't think I can wait till I come to you in August. You must come here soon.

Kelly

Reply to Penelope

User hidden's picture

It matters to me what they did in the past because they have never acknoledged their faults. I think that is part of justice and integrity - admitting openly when you have been wrong and making amends where possible.

As far as the bad personalities of some of the old guard (I like Binswanger by the way, though I think he's a little crusty.), they don't matter at all to me in my evalutation of the work of ARI. Like I said, that's why I give them money - I think they do great work. It matters to me though that high profile assholes don't attract the kind of Objectivists I want to spend time with. I would love it if there were lots of fun high profile ARI folks so that ARI would attract fun low profile folks. I do actually think this is happening. Some of the newer and younger intellectuals are wonderful. Eric Daniels and Tara Smith come to mind.

Kelly

And I fervently hope your

Penelope's picture

And I fervently hope your cautionary comments about ARI are taken to heart where it matters. It bothers me to see the residual rearguard refusal to acknowledge the problems you mention here, which I too have been campaigning about, to little evident effect.

Okay, I confess that I don't know any of these people, but I wonder...why does it matter if those people made less than ideal choices back in tha day? The only one who still has an official connection to ARI, according to their website, is Harry Binswanger, but even he is only on the board of directors. (I don't know how ARI works, but I do know how businesses in general work, and typically the board of directors is like the American version of the Queen of England.)

The way my eyes look at it is this: is ARI doing things I admire and respect, and spreading the ideas I use to live my life? So far as I've seen, the answer is for the most part yes. The books project? How splendid! Their op-eds too! Maybe one of these days I'll even join the OAC. But I can't for the life of me think of a good reason why it matters whether Harry Binswanger is an asshole or Peter Schwartz is a jerk or Garry Hull is a boob.

Kelly, I don't doubt for a

Fred Weiss's picture

Kelly, I don't doubt for a second that for some people Valliant's commentary is more than they need. Look, in a certain sense I (and many others) didn't need the commentary at all. We were able to form similar conclusions about the Brandens without the help of PARC.

(This btw is what James or Casey have alluded to regarding some "ARI people" who weren't particularly supportive of his project. I was one of them. I didn't think it was necessary and I thought it would elevate the issue to a much higher level than it deserved. You will note that over the years ARI has directed little or no attention to the Brandens. It's always been the "Brandroids" who've obsessed about ARI and its various scholars, especially Peikoff, Schwartz, Binswanger, etc. Not the other way around.)

However, I was wrong - and what has convinced me of that is *precisely his thoroughness* and, as I've mentioned, the insight he brings to the issues and the grasp of Objectivism which he repeatedly demonstrates in discussing the various controversial issues.

I've also been extremely impressed - and never would have predicted - the numbers of people which the book has turned around regarding the Brandens.

I can't recommend the book highly enough.

And I haven't even gotten to the "juiciest" parts yet - AR's journal entries. Smiling

Kelly = KASS

Prima Donna's picture

Hello BSimovici. Your last name is very melodical. Smiling

I'd like to state for the record that I find Kelly to be the most KASS woman in existence. Full of life, sharp as a tack, funny as all get-out, and a charming Southern belle. I luvs me some Kelly Elmore.


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Welcome

Phil Howison's picture

Welcome back to SOLO, Kelly. I enjoyed reading your posts before you left, and I'm very happy to see that you've returned.

I'm particularly glad that Linz "manipulated" you into writing this post, especially since it closely matches my own thoughts on PARC and Barbara Branden.

I look forward to seeing your posts on happier subjects Smiling

PS: I can't take any comment of Ciro's seriously after reading this email to MSK:
You are, the only person I met in my entire life , beside my love Francesca, who was able to understand me as much as you do.
Michael , I think we can enjoy pissing together looking at our each other penis and not be jealous at whoever between us has got the bigger one.
A bigger one I said, not a littler one. lololololololol

Yes, and Lindsay deserves to be "punished"! Heh.

Welcome back, Kelly! I

Derek McGovern's picture

Welcome back, Kelly! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw your posts here this morning. Good on you for baring your soul - I admire your guts and honesty.

But Ciro: What the hell is going on in your head? Linz doesn't manipulate people into criticising Barbara Branden! Barbara achieves criticism quite effortlessly on her own! Besides, Linz would shriek from the thought of surrounding himself with yes-men telling him only what *he* wants to hear.

Great post, Kelly

Boaz the Boor's picture

I'd also like to praise Linz (and Duncan, and others who help run it) for the quality of this forum, which I can now confidently say is worthy of its trademark and self-attributions of KASSness. Linz, thy pen is mightier than thy....

Well, anyway, you write Kass-ly.

Greetings, Kelley and Jennifer, both (from what I've seen) presumptive carriers of the mantle of Kass.

Ciro! - noble sentiments, noble indeed. It's been several years since my last Italian class, and I rather appreciated the exercise. But you'll forgive me if I say that I wish there were more "tipi come Villano" around. There really aren't enough of them. Justice is supposed to be about more than spouting platitudes that you're not actually intent on observing in the first place. Ayn Rand the person, dead or alive, is a value - a personal value - and her person deserved a defense. I didn't realize that myself until it dawned on me as I was reading it that I'd partly accepted the Brandens' narrative despite being skeptical of it.

Kelly ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

One day back and you've caused pandemonium already! Glad you haven't lost your touch. Smiling

Thanks for the kind remarks. And I fervently hope your cautionary comments about ARI are taken to heart where it matters. It bothers me to see the residual rearguard refusal to acknowledge the problems you mention here, which I too have been campaigning about, to little evident effect. Smiling

Linz

Ciro

eg's picture

I wish you well. I wish Barbara well. Unfortunately ...

--Brant

Damn.

Prima Donna's picture

I just let someone borrow my Ancient Greek dictionary. I *hate* when that happens.


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Brant, you seem not to have

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Brant, you seem not to have any more issues of
integrity involved with self-assertiveness.

Salute!

Ciro D'Agostino

Just for the record

User hidden's picture

I have been begging Linz to use me for ages, but he keeps up this gay facade.

Anyone else who wants to insult me, I'd appreciate if it was in a language I read. I can do English, Latin, Ancient Greek, and Piglatin. Feel free to have a rabid dog, mouth frothing, freak out session about me in any of those languages.

Kelly

Holy Cow

User hidden's picture

Good grief. I'll answer Fred's post, as it was comprehensible to me. Smiling

What I found irritating about the style was that there were so many asides telling me how to feel about the quote just quoted. I could have lived with a little less commentary. The quotes really did speak for themselves, pretty much. I know that I should have specifics to point out, but David has my book. I remember things like: As is the usual skunky way of the Brandens, "insert awful Branden lies." Not that I disagreed with the fact that they were skunky, just didn't need it said over and over. Anyway, it was a small matter. The book rocked! Just too courtroomy for me, I guess.

Kelly

Jennifer, my love, it's far

Craig Ceely's picture

Jennifer, my love, it's far too late for that.

Craig -- you darling, you.

Prima Donna's picture

Craig -- you darling, you. Now stop peeking in my window.

For the record, I was not insulted by Ciro's suggestion of exploitation. It was too funny to be insulting. Smiling


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Linz

eg's picture

Please don't moderate Ciro. He's without price.

--Brant

Sense and speciousness

Craig Ceely's picture

Oh, I don't know about that, Fred. He made himself pretty clear of late, in trying to insult Kelly and then Jennifer (a death penalty offense on the face of it!) and in exclaiming that some here need their tongues cut out.

He's improved a bit over time, I'd say.

That makes more sense than

Fred Weiss's picture

That makes more sense than he usually does.

Yeah Linz, how dare you!

Chris Cathcart's picture

I understood Ciro to be saying this:

"Dispiace, truly, to see to me to you to involve thus, the beautiful fact e' that you make of the evil people without to conclude I haul then! Six associated to you with that face of merda of Villano, but who I haul has made to make you. You have understood that this only tries to reclamizzare its book? and then? there what I haul e' for you in all this? I believed that lucevi of light propia, instead? you have need of types like villano? this e' people that has their dreams bases to you on the psycology of Freud! you have understood or not? You had been invited like one of the hosts of honor to the conference of the TOC in California, you have refused like vigliacco, a six pleased instead participating to you to the presentation of the book of the Villano, but, I say, as I haul then you expect that people you respect yourself. Sai that I say to you, goes fa' n' culo, me propio has disappointed."

Yeah, Linz! So there!

Thanks

James S. Valliant's picture

Kelly,

Thanks so much. I am honored that I could help "restore your love for Ayn Rand."

Yes, you did.

JoeM's picture

Yes, you did. Smiling

A man who won't say anythng...

Craig Ceely's picture

...except that others need their tongues cut out so that they, presumably, will be unable to say anything.

A real man.

Linz????  don't worry!! you

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Linz????  don't worry!! you are dealing with a man, i wont say anything 

Ciro D'Agostino

Thank you.

Prima Donna's picture

Landon, I'm very touched by that. Thank you. I'll keep an extra hook handy in case you need it again. Smiling


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Hermit

Landon Erp's picture

Thanks Jen. Everytime I think of going Ditko and just hiding in a cave doing comic pages all day away from the rest of the world, people like you pull me back.

---Landon

Inking is sexy.

http://www.angelfire.com/comics/wickedlakes

So Glad ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Ciro wrote:

I am here to defend Barbara!

And I am so pleased to see her getting exactly the defence she deserves.

Linz

BWAHAHA!!

Prima Donna's picture

Exploit Linz...to become famous. Yes, you have caught me. It's always been my strategy to use a little-understood philosophy promoted by a media personality from the other side of the planet to further my agenda here in America.

Priceless. I'm printing that one out. Smiling


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

 No, I didn't Ciro

Ciro D Agostino's picture

 No, I didn't

Ciro D'Agostino

But you just did.

JoeM's picture

But you just did. Smiling

Joe, I will not tell you

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Joe, I will not tell you what i think of you!

 

Ciro D'Agostino

i am here to defend Barbara!

Ciro D Agostino's picture

I am here to defend Barbara!

what's your reason to be here, to exploit Linz? so you can become famous?

Ciro D'Agostino

Method and Motivation

Craig Ceely's picture

Jim Valliant is able to state why he is defending Ayn Rand -- and he has, at length. So has Casey Fahy and so, to a lesser extent, have I, and others here.

Note that by "defended" I do explicitly mean "defended against the Brandens."

But someone like Michael Stuart Kelly, who has gone so far as to run a virtual shrine to the Brandens, can't quite come out and say why he "loves" Barbara Branden so. And neither have you, Ciro, nor does anyone any longer expect you to do so.

Job well done

Landon Erp's picture

Glad to hear it Casey. Maybe now I can begin to pick your brain on fiction writing.

On an unrelated note. Ciro don't expect me to ever respond to something you say again.

---Landon

Inking is sexy.

http://www.angelfire.com/comics/wickedlakes

Good puppy

JoeM's picture

Now go to your masters and get your pat on the head, Ciro.

 Look who is talking now,

Ciro D Agostino's picture

 Look who is talking now, Casey, the difender of Ayn Rand the one who proposes as romatic love "Menage-a-Three"

Ciro D'Agostino

Pot? Kettle?

Prima Donna's picture

I'm sure it will be soon be posted by detractors in who knows what corner that the frenzied, sycophantic mob of SOLO attacked Ciro because he stood up for himself, when the first arrow was his. Now he has descended to personal insults, but that's not scumbag-esque at all.

Ciro, if the only reason you are here is to tell the owner of the site to go fuck himself (last time I checked, that was the translation of va fu' n' culo), I ask again: Why are you here? Are you setting up some sort of martyr scenario? Surely you have better things to do.


-- The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Well, folks,

Casey's picture

I'm certainly glad to have turned the corner on this. I had a lot of this stuff flung at me like the stuff Ciro is saying when I started defending Jim's book (before it was even PUBLISHED), but now that others have read it, I think it may be possible (and preferrable) for me to retire from my advocacy and let the full nature of PARC's detractors become clear to others. Kelly, I, too, salute Linz -- it took a lot to do what he did considering he had such a celebrity "Objectivist" contributing to his site, and he has my eternal respect. Your statement sums up just how I felt while Jim was working on the book well before Peikoff made Rand's journals available to him. (Except for the irritating style thing, that is! Eye) I always told Jim it just needed to get out there.

Prior and Posterior Analytics, is it?

Craig Ceely's picture

And his "argument" proceeds apace.

I don't take advices from

Ciro D Agostino's picture

I don't take advices from those who ask other people how to fuck his own girlfriend, thank you! D'Agostino

Adam

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You asked Ciro:

Have you read PARC? If you haven't, will you read PARC?

In the Italian part of his first post on this thread, he refers to Valliant as a "shit-face." There's your answer, I think. Smiling

Brant? you are not mentally

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Brant? you are not mentally sane enough to handle my insults to you, so go home!

 

D'Agostino

Ciro

eg's picture

Shame on you.

--Brant

Ciro,

Adam Buker's picture

Have you read PARC? If you haven't, will you read PARC?

Adam Buker
www.adambuker.com

Never takes too long, does it?

Craig Ceely's picture

From toleration to tongue-cutting. My, my...

Wow

JoeM's picture

Ciro, you have no idea...

I can understand the sentiment...at least Ciro's made a stand. But to paraphrase Kira, that's great, if you're right. But are you right?

Bad form? shit! these are

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Bad form? shit! these are people whose life is fucked up and have the courage to go around talking bad about people like Barbara? They have the courage to talk about heroes and heroines when in their private life are scum bags? what bad form are you talking about? these are people who deserve to have their tongue cut.

And the stuff in Italian ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... is just silly. Get a grip Ciro!

Bad form Ciro, bad form.

ethan_dawe's picture

Bad form Ciro, bad form.

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