#MOGA! Open Letter to Objectivists—Make Objectivism Great Again! Repudiate Obleftivism!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2017-02-06 02:44

[This is an expanded version of the opening statement I had prepared for my aborted debate with Yaron Brook on Amy Peikoff's BlogTalkRadio show, "Don't Let It Go." I withdrew from the debate when I realised I could not in all conscience comply with her last-minute request that I refrain from making "sweeping statements" critical of Yaron. Warning: the following contains a number of sweeping statements critical of Yaron.]

For decades, the ‘liberals’ have regarded ‘nationalism’ as an arch-evil of capitalism. They denounced national self-interest—they permitted no distinction between intelligent patriotism and blind, racist chauvinism, deliberately lumping them together—they smeared all opponents of internationalist doctrines as ‘reactionaries,’ 'fascists’ or ‘isolationists'—and they brought this country to a stage where expressions such as ‘America First’ became terms of opprobrium.

—Ayn Rand

In Yaron Brook’s BlogTalkRadio show of November 12 last year, the Ayn Rand Institute head said he was "horrified" at what 57 million Americans had just done. Yaron called Trump “the villain of our time,” “this creature, this vulgar creature,” an “authoritarian,” more anti-American than Obama, someone who might well abolish freedom of speech, someone whose proposal to build a wall on the Southern border was "stupid," someone whose election was far more dangerous than that of Hillary Clinton who would have been merely “an extension of the Obama status quo.” Yaron's sentiments were echoed by his ARI colleague, Canadian Onkar Ghate, who wrote, "On November 8, 2016, the United States took its first step towards dictatorship." Further on, Ghate said: “ … the Republican control of the presidency, the House and the Senate should give anyone pause who is concerned about, say, the campaign’s demonization of immigrants and of trade or the attempt to impose a Christian variant of Sharia law.” On his BlogTalkRadio show just finished as I write (the morning of Feb 6, NZ time) Yaron asserted that Trump is “paving the way to fascism.”

This, we are told, is the voice of reason. I contend it is the voice of Trump Derangement Syndrome. More than that, it is the resurgent voice of Leonard Peikoff’s 2006 fatwa to the effect that Objectivists should vote Democrat across the board, even in the presence of “good Republicans,” because the Republicans were about to usher in a Christian theocracy. Sheer lunacy. Leonard briefly came right in 2013 ...

I am against the immigration bill a hundred percent, not just one clause or another, for one very simple reason. It happens to be the case that we are teetering on the edge of dictatorship. It happens to be the case that if the Democrats continue to have or grow their political power we will be over that edge. And it happens to be the case, whether you like it or not, that of all Hispanics in America, whether they are rich or poor, self-made men or anything else, 80% are reliably and continually Democratic. So if you are talking about a bill, I don’t care whether it’s fair / unfair in any other respects, you are talking about a bill that will infuse into this country a massive amount of Democratic supporters and thereby guarantee the destruction of this country. That is what immigration means today. And there’s no use asking me in theory what do I think, there is no theory now, we’re on the end. So it’s a question of buying time.

... before reverting to form.

I contend the current Trump Derangement Syndrome within OrgOism (Organised Objectivism), most prominently displayed by Yaron Brook, is a manifestation of what I call Obleftivism, i.e., Objectivism hijacked by Islamo-Marxism. In what follows, “Yaron” and “Obleftivism” should be treated as interchangeable.

Yaron implies "the Obama status quo" that Hillary would have preserved is somehow innocuous and tolerable, to be preferred over a President who has promised to lower taxes hugely, to lessen regulations by 75% and who has already moved to roll back Dodd-Frank; over a President who will allow the energy sector to function and flourish again and has already green-lighted the Dakota and Keystone pipeline projects blocked by Comrade Obama (“no big deal,” said Yaron this morning); over a President who will nix Obamacare; over a President whose appointments to the Supreme Court will be based on adherence to the Constitution rather than legislating from the bench; over a President who will stop the inflow of terrorist savages and other Third World low-lifes in its tracks; over a President who can bring himself not just to say “Radical Islamic terrorism” (in my view, “Islam” would suffice) but also to go after it.

Obleftivism seems blind to the cultural ravages of unfettered immigration by ideological aliens; indifferent to, possibly even unaware of (from the smug safety of walled, white, well-guarded gated communities) the robberies, assaults, rapes and beheadings perpetrated by them. (MS—13: more prolific beheaders than ISIS!) Obleftivism says “Let 'em in, let ‘em in, let ‘em in”; the more the merrier; they'll soon get the hang of freedom and become like us—and anyone who opposes this suicidal, sacrifistic policy is a racist, a xenophobe, a bigot and all the rest of the standard leftist epithets. Trump’s wall is “stupid,” says Yaron—from behind a wall. I say, build a wall along the Northern border as well. Someone has to keep Onkar Ghate and Justin Trudeau out, not to mention all the Muslims Trudeau is letting in to Canada. I say, relocate the Somalis who have wrought havoc in Minnesota to tents pitched on the golf courses inside Yaron’s gated community; assuredly he'll give them a warm welcome?!

Obleftivism refuses to acknowledge, let alone proudly proclaim, that Western Culture is The Best; that it’s entitled to protect and preserve itself qua Western culture, manifested in a plenitude of ways in specific Western nations; to say such a thing, according to Obleftivists, is “nationalism,” or even worse, “patriotism”—both odious signs of [gasp] “collectivism.” Obleftivism seems not to have absorbed the significance of Ayn Rand’s appropriately negative appraisal of pre-humans elsewhere in the world:

It is to the Mohammedans, the Buddhists, and the cannibals—to the underdeveloped, the undeveloped, and the not-to-be-developed cultures—that the Capitalist United States of America is asked to apologize for her skyscrapers, her automobiles, her plumbing, and her smiling, confident, untortured, un-skinned-alive, un-eaten young men!

Obleftivists claim that attacking the Clinton News Network, National Putin Radio and other mainstream media for their stinking dishonesty, Fake News and bias is an assault on freedom of speech, when in fact the real assaults on free speech are coming from the self-same media, along with academia—students and staff—moronnials, Social Justice Warriors, Ugly Wimmin, Black Lives Matter, Hollywood, and sundry other garbage, under the rubric of Political Correctness—to whose vicious depravity Obleftivists seem oblivious or indifferent. How about a call to arms on behalf of Milo Yiannopoulis, whom Yaron Brook derides (oh, to have one Objectivist with Milo’s star quality!!), recently silenced by Islamo-Marxist thugs at Berkeley University; on behalf of Gavin McInnes, pepper-sprayed by Islamo-Marxist thugs at New York University?! How about a call to arms against one of the principal organisers of the Ugly Wimmin’s March, Linda Sarsour, who once tweeted of Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “I wish I could take their vaginas away—they don’t deserve to be women”?! (Ms Ali, of course, is one of hundreds of millions of genitally mutilated Muslim women. She is now a prominent, heroic former Muslim.)

All the while, in fact, Yaron minimises the enormity of the Muslim threat within America, saying, “The United States has zero potential to end up like Europe,” and, “Everyday Muslims are no threat.” How exactly does this "useful idiot" propose to differentiate the perpetrators of the killings of 145 Americans by Muslims in the United States since 9/11 from “everyday" Muslims? Blankout!

“Everyday Muslims” are required to believe in Jihad, Sharia Law and a worldwide caliphate. They are stiffened in their resolve by such jolly verses from the Koran as, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” They’re also enjoined to lie (Taqiyya) about their agenda. So again, how does Useful Yaron propose to distinguish everyday Muslims from actual Muslims: i.e., Muslims who take their religion seriously? (Agenda alert: Yaron makes the exact same argument minimising the threat from Muslims as did a Cato Institute representative on the Martha McCallum Fox News Special a few days ago: the chances of being struck down by a Muslim terrorist are three trillion times lower than of being mugged or struck by lightning or a car, or some such. Hmmmmm. Cato. ARI. Pro-open borders Koch Bros. Funding.)

Then again, from the smug security of a gated community, what difference does it make whether it’s Muslims or Mexicans doing the beheadings?

Yaron said this morning that Trump’s description of the activist judge in Seattle who up-ended his temporary travel ban as a “so-called judge” was “despicable.” I’d say it’s the judge—a Black Lives Matter cheerleader—who’s despicable. I say, may the ban be quickly reinstated; may it revert to the President’s original proposal: Not One Muslim!

I’d like to offer a helpful philosophical observation to Obleftivists at this point. Objectivism does not contend that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Objectivism views that as an intrinsicist view of rights. Objectivists, if asked, would eschew such a view. Yet when a prominent Objectivist (Binswanger) ends up saying, “Freedom of travel is a right. It is a right possessed by every human being, not just by Americans. The Mexican government or the French government has no right to stop you from entering Mexico or France, and our government has no right to stop a Mexican or Frenchman from entering America”; or, “The principle of individual rights demands open immigration. Implementing that would mean phasing out all limitations on immigration. Entry into the United States should ultimately be free for any foreigner, absent objective evidence of criminal intent or infectious disease”; or, “Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not enough, they deserve an apology” ... then you know you’re dealing with intrinsicism on steroids, and that the good ol’-time “rationalism” so well exposed by Leonard Peikoff has still not been weeded out. There are no “intrinsic” rights implanted in us by a mystical creator or nature; “rights” is a concept arrived at after tortuous millennia of excruciating cogitation by advanced human beings at the forefront of Western thought. Those whom Ayn Rand called “dinky little savages” do not have an automatic, inbuilt right, just because they look like humans, to travel to, much less remain in, Western countries. Civilised countries have the right to be selective as to whom they admit—as selective as Galt’s Gulch if necessary.

Obleftivists think that the type of people to whom Ayn Rand pleaded, "Don't let it go," have, in electing Donald Trump, let it go: "it" being the uniquely American sense of life of which she wrote so eloquently. I contend that in electing Donald Trump, they, in the nick of time, reaffirmed it, and reassured us that they are still around. (Beyond miraculous, when you think about it, given all the professors and Obleftivist “intellectuals” like Binswanger who have held sway since Rand wrote that. Makes you think that “sense of life” must be in Americans’ DNA! Horreurs! Determinism!!)

Ayn Rand said, of judging political candidates, “A voter’s choice does not commit him to a total agreement with a candidate—and certainly cannot commit a candidate to an agreement with every voter who supports him. Under a two-party system, a voter’s choice is and has to be merely an approximation—a choice of the candidate whom he regards as closer to his own views; often, particularly in recent times, a voter chooses merely between the lesser of two evils.”

Yaron Brook would have you believe that Rand, who chose Nixon over McGovern, would have preferred Hillary over Trump. Hillary is easily more evil than McGovern, and arguably the most evil person ever to have run for the presidency. Yaron proudly says he doesn’t care!

Trump is not the lesser of two evils, however; he is outrageously good—even though he is not the card-carrying Objectivist Obleftivists seem to demand! The very words “President Trump” are music to my ears, equal to Rachmaninoff. President Trump, President Trump, President Trump! This is even better than hearing (and as a broadcaster, reading) the words “President Reagan,” to whom OrgOists were equally asininely opposed (except for one of their leaders who voted for Reagan without telling anyone, Ayn Rand included).

I am ecstatic at the spectacle of America’s ascension back to greatness. Every day, President Trump, in full view of the world he defies, relentlessly advances his audacious agenda; every week, Obleftivist Brook, in full view of a few lemming-like acolytes on Faecesbook and in parochial parts of the world, trashes it, because it might include tariffs and does include Twitter attacks on the smelly Islamo-Marxists at CNN and NPR, Yaron’s favourite sources of Fake News and Politically Correct commentary.

I am a Deplorable, irredeemably. And I deplore Obleftivism.

Obleftivism is Fake Objectivism!

It's party time in America! Yaron Brook is a party-pooper!

Make Objectivism Great Again!


Linz

gregster's picture

I saw Steve Bannon yesterday evening with Hannity. I was hoping some of us would catch it. I thought he was excellent in describing the task of draining the red and blue swamp. He’s better than I imagined.

Ed

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I agree with your theory. I put it slightly differently myself in my comment on Hacksaw Ridge in the Quality Videos thread:

Is it not bizarre that we can find passion for one's values among the likes of Eric Liddell and Desmond Doss but not among Objectivists of either the Randroid or Brandroid variety? In modern parlance, I expect both categories are for ever trying to "virtue-signal." In original Randian terms, they're all "social metaphysicians." Obleftivists, one and all. Ironic how avowed mystics are far better Randians, much more authentic heroes, than any OrgOist I can think of.

#MOGA!

*This* is what OrgOism needs ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Steve Bannon shows the moral clarity and sense of urgency absent fwom smug, complacent, gated community, half a million bucks a year Obleftivist pwostitute Yawon:

Scholarship Errors

edpowell's picture

If you are interested in scholarship errors, you might be interested in my view of Chapters 15 and 16 of DIM, where I accuse Peikoff of poor scholarship (basically cherry-picking).

https://objectivedissent.org/2...

Coulter

edpowell's picture

I have found Coulter reliable, as you say. Coulter's schtick is very simple, and most of her books rely on it: she pays for a Lexis/Nexis subscription, and she uses it to point out hypocrisy in the media in the past compared to the present. That's basically the whole deal. I haven't read her biography of Joe McCarthy, however; that would be a good book to really check as it relies on primary sources, not just Lexis/Nexis.

Most people don't understand that Coulter's weekly column relies heavily on hyperbole. Most people don't know what hyperbole actually is, which is why Trump's off-the-cuff remarks mystify them. In her columns, she is a political humorist. In her books she is a political commentator who uses humor. There's a difference, one that simply escapes most liberal readers.

My theory...

edpowell's picture

...isn't particularly original to me. It's just that the in-crowd like being the in-crowd, as if they were back in Junior High School. The cliqueishness of the entire Objectivist movement is so obvious to me as an "outsider" that I'm surprised it isn't more commented upon. To be on the "inside" one must spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars going through the usual gates, like the OAC. The OAC is a place (to paraphrase Peikoff's lecture on education) where ignorant students sit silently and listen to knowledgeable professors, with the OAC staff in the role as professor, or really high priest. What's funny is that there is more serious debate and disagreement at fundamentalist Bible colleges than there is at OAC an in Objectivist gatherings. One must toe the party line or one is out. If one wants to be "in" more than one cares about being right, you get the whole litany of abuses, both from the leaders to their own followers, as well as from the followers to everyone else.

I have not yet read Elliot's long description of why he was ejected from HBL (I will soon). I ejected myself when it became clear that Binswanger would no longer present honest disagreements fairly. The arbitrary rules, like not linking to mises.org or even mentioning Reisman, Binswanger's personal abuse toward those who did not toe the party line, all of these made me believe that it was immoral for me to send him any more money. Though I'm sure I'd have been booted at one point or another, certainly after I wrote my immigration essay.

I had a miserable enough time in junior high to ever want to go back. Plus I have enough real credentials to ever think a credential from these people would be meaningful. So I guess I was always an outcast, and remain so. But I've read a whole lot of non-Objectivist thinkers over the years, both libertarians as well as classical (you mention Burke, an excellent example). None of the Objectivist leadership seems at all interested in any thinkers other than Rand. And sometimes Rand mischaracterized certain thinkers of the past since she was not widely read herself. Peikoff and Binswanger received PhDs in Philosophy, so at least they were exposed to the writings of previous philosophers, but as far as I can tell, neither of them know a thing about history, without which knowledge the philosophic thought of previous generations is not in its proper context. They strike me as deliberately--even militantly--ignorant. Peikoff once said that all one needed to know about current events was what was on the front page of the NYT, and even then mostly just above the fold. How can anyone think such a thing? It was stupid to think in 1960 before the Times went hard left. It's literally insane to think it today. Brook does Peikoff one better, by relying on NPR--literally government propaganda--as well as the Times. Militant ignorance is the leitmotif of Objectivist intellectuals.

Brook said there should be

Elliot Temple's picture

Brook said there should be unlimited properly screened Muslims into the USA and apparently of Muslims into Israel as well.

He also called Ann Coulter a liar and her supporters corrupt . . .

Does he have a source on attacking Coulter's scholarship? I personally checked it because I wanted to know the truth:

http://curi.us/1626-fact-check...
http://curi.us/1625-reviewing-...
http://curi.us/1820-adios-amer...

Linz has noted worthwhile

Elliot Temple's picture

Linz has noted worthwhile intellectuals produced from those efforts such as Alex Epstein, so evidently not everything from ARI is bad.

Actually, Alex Epstein is bad.

Alex Epstein Attacks Liberty

Alex Epstein's Pinnacle

Alex Epstein Scholarship Problem

Besides the links, another thing he did wrong is endorse the standard views on addiction and the medicalization of everyday life (calling things "unhealthy" instead of "immoral"). I asked him to stop and told him why it was a mistake; he wouldn't answer me.

I was not a random stranger contacting him. I helped out with the Center for Industrial Progress for a couple years (wrote some articles, did some research and editing, etc.). He said he thought I was one of the few people smart enough to contribute. We met several times. We had conversations in person, by email, and on calls. But they didn't get very far. The problem is: he's too busy doing activism to take philosophy seriously or address some of his mistakes that I pointed out to him. He's not willing to think more, he just wants to tell others what to think.

And his activism is full of compromises and sucking up to (aka sanctioning) authorities and opponents. He pays enemies of humanity for "debates", knowing full well they aren't capable of debate, but pretending otherwise because he wants to get attention by piggybacking on their prestige with sound bytes of himself "debating" them.

He's done some good work which is probably what you guys are aware of. He's right on many points about energy. But he's a compromiser who's more interested in social climbing than intellectual discussion. Compromisers as dangerous, as Ayn Rand warned us. We don't need people trying to spread mixed messages in our name.

Even when I said a lot of this to him, he just acted like nothing much had happened and kept trying to say I was smart but should be less aggressive and more humble. He wouldn't even tell me to get lost! He just made excuses. So I told him he can contact me if he changes his mind and becomes willing to think about the issues and discuss arguments; he hasn't.

Epstein also decided not to talk about Trump's great views on energy and be neutral between anti-energy and pro-energy candidates.

What's *your* theory as to

Elliot Temple's picture

What's *your* theory as to why ARISIS is so irrationally pro-open borders? If it's not Koch Bros, what is it? Their own home-grown evil?

My guess is:

Peikoff was never a very good thinker. He has publicly admitted to not really being a philosopher, to finding learning hard, etc. While Rand was alive, she was constantly correcting him and steering him back on to the right track. After Rand died, he got progressively worse. As an atheist intellectual who wanted to be influential, he got drawn to the trendy left. He didn't want to stand up to almost everyone and everything, as required. That's hard. He ran out of energy, he never had clear enough convictions of his own, and cultural leftism started getting the better of him. Peikoff also went through the university system, as did a lot of other ARI people.

Peikoff is dishonest. He's written about this. What set Rand apart from others? Why was she so smart? Peikoff reports Ayn Rand's own answer as her honesty. Peikoff, however, spent years denying this b/c he assumed his own integrity was the same as Rand's, and therefore there must be some other difference... This wasn't honest.

Dishonesty will tear you apart and corrupt you over time. Contradictions don't work.

While alive, Ayn Rand gave Peikoff answers to many current events issues. Over the years, as those stopped applying to the current situation (because the details of the politics of the day shift), Peikoff became more and more lost. He had to try to think for himself, and he couldn't do it well. (A minor aside: I recently listened to Peikoff's audio lectures on grammar. I like some of his old work. After listening, I got the grammar book he recommended and was surprised to find he'd taken tons of course material from the book. He didn't give adequate credit for the content he used, which is worrisome.)

So anyway, people like Peikoff don't know about things like Saul Alinsky and George Soros. They don't read the right sources like Ann Coulter and Front Page Magazine. They get info from NYT and related "respectable" sources too much – they think they're so smart and recognize its flaws, but they are only mentally correcting for about a quarter of the bias. Binswanger was even getting info from Nate Silver and allowing HuffPo links (but not Mises.org links). When challenged about Silver, Binswanger basically admitted he had no idea what he was talking about, but wasn't inclined to learn.

They are ignorant and our culture's intellectual institutions (media, universities, intellectual respectability) are leftist. It takes a motor and an ongoing process of rational thought for an atheist intellectual to stay on the right and not get sucked into any leftism. The alternative way to stay on the right is to have some entrenched good values – e.g. be an American Christian who prefers common sense over what the elites tell him is rational. But Peikoff, rather than e.g. reading and understanding Edmund Burke (as I did), just hates Christians (in a way Ayn Rand didn't).

Rejecting tradition is dangerous. You have to know what you're doing. There's way more ways to be mistaken than correct. Atheists reject important traditional ideas and values. To be an atheist, you need to be a good thinker or you're probably going to come out worse than most American Christians – which is exactly what we see in the world on a large scale with the Christian right trying to save civilization while the atheist left attacks civilization.

Don't get me wrong. I've never been religious. You can think for yourself and do well. But it's hard and the majority fail. Peikoff failed. He wasn't enough of a first-handed maverick pioneer to go against a major intellectual trend without the backing of a major tradition, just using his own mind and judgement.

This is, of course, all much worse and more damning than the belief that they were bought by donors. By saying the open borders donors had to buy them, you suggest they actually know the truth. They don't. They're intellectually lost.

(I can provide sources on any of this if asked.)

Neil, my thoughts on debating

Elliot Temple's picture

Neil, my thoughts on debating them:

Lindsay was right not to debate them with an arm tied behind his back.

Offering them money to debate is a mistake because it sanctions them as important intellectuals who deserve to be paid for having a discussion.

You should demand they debate without any payment, or else admit they are not serious intellectuals.

I would expect any serious thinker to be willing to debate in writing with the following rules:

- unmoderated
- no time limits
- no length limits
- public, with permalinks for everything
- discussion happens over time. people should think over their reply, check sources, etc., before replying.
- no arbitrary rules about topic. bringing up methodology or tangential topics you consider relevant is allowed. if you don't like it, criticize it instead of trying to say it's off-limits.

Debate should continue until some resolution is reached. If someone wants to quit, they can explain why as part of the debate. If they want to stop responding without explanation, that decision can be on the record and they can be revealed as a fraud.

What if someone is busy and their time is valuable? They are welcome to have someone else write their arguments for them. They can have an agent debate in their place. If they have neither the fans nor funding to get anyone good enough to do this, then I'm not buying the too-fancy-to-debate-me story. If you can't get anyone else to represent your viewpoint for you, then you're a lone voice who better argue your own points. If you don't have enough money to spend your time being an intellectual, too bad, that's your problem not my problem.

They're also welcome to provide references to pre-existing answers to issues when they have one which addresses the issue. Thinkers should build up reusable answers and reuse them. They can reference text written by anyone as long as they take responsibility for it, since they are using it to speak for them.

It is the responsibility of a public philosopher to see that questions and criticism are addressed. Do it personally, or get someone else to do it and take personal responsibility for what they say. If they won't do that, they are refusing to think. The way to deal with intellectual imposters who refuse to think is by pronouncing moral judgement, not by offering money as if their time was valuable (it isn't because they're bad thinkers) and they were above you (they aren't above me because I have integrity and am interesting in thinking arguments through, unlike them).

Great post. They don't seem

Elliot Temple's picture

Great post. They don't seem to recognize how dangerous Obama, Hillary or open borders are!

I tried to talk to Harry Binswanger about it, but dissent isn't allowed on his forum. I put up a blog post here about how I got banned from HBL.

Here, I wanted to relate my experience trying to talk to Binswanger about Hillary around election time. I discovered he's deeply ignorant of the facts because he gets his news from biased MSM sources. I asked him if he knew anything about Saul Alinsky or George Soros. He didn't seem to, and was unwilling to contemplate actually reading something to find out.

Binswanger claimed to respect David Horowitz. I provided quotes from Horowitz showing that Horowitz and Binswanger completely disagree (Horowitz and his Freedom Center is the best source of anti-leftist information). Would, Binswanger, therefore be willing to read information from Horowitz on the philosopher (Saul Alinsky) behind the ideas and agenda of Obama and Hillary? Of course not. Instead, Binswanger refused to read longer material and also, at the very same time, said the quotes I gave were too short without enough substantive argument.

A lot of HBL members are reasonable about politics and supported Trump or Cruz. (Cruz was my first choice, Trump my second choice.) But they're scared to dissent much because it's not an open discussion forum and they could be banned for arguing with Binswanger. By pretending to have an open discussion forum, but actually controlling the content, Binswanger is dishonestly presenting a false picture of what most Objectivists think.

On a related note, part of the reason Binswanger said he banned me is that some of his paying members didn't like what I wrote, and he thought it was a good business decision to pander to a larger number of people. Do you think that Wynand Papers style reasoning is better or worse than banning intellectual dissent? It does effectively ban intellectual dissent anyway...

Peikoff Originally Envisioned Himself as a Medical Doctor

Luke Setzer's picture

Brant ranted:

"Of course stupidity and ignorance easily run a close second. As a philosopher Leonard could have made a damn fine doctor (of medicine). (In this context doctors are generally stupid and ignorant out of focus on their profession--it's a time to read and think thing about bigger things which they don't have even if interested.)"

In his lectures on induction, Peikoff mentioned that he originally intended to enter the field of medicine prior to meeting Ayn Rand when he was 17. At that point, he changed his mind and decided to become a philosopher instead. I am not sure if Brant knew this when he wrote his rant, but I thought it was an interesting observation.

"moralizing hypocrites"

Brant Gaede's picture

"Moralizing hypocrites" is Hunter's best line summing up Peikoff and Brook I've ever read.

Otherwise they're primarily stupid and ignorant.

Of course stupidity and ignorance easily run a close second. As a philosopher Leonard could have made a damn fine doctor (of medicine). (In this context doctors are generally stupid and ignorant out of focus on their profession--it's a time to read and think thing about bigger things which they don't have even if interested.)

Ayn Rand was powerful, sincere, charismatic, highly productive and extremely intelligent. She made mistakes--don't we all? A little imitation would have done ARI a world of good.

Nathaniel Branden once stated--I can't give the reference--what was the best place for the Jews? The United States! Not Israel. If he elaborated it was outside my personal experience. (Please note I'm rifting off Hunter's article.) He and Rand were pro-Israel. Well, me too. But Israel is not the promised land. Why? "God" doesn't exist so he couldn't have promised anything. (My big [secular] objection to Israel is it concentrates too many Jews in one place. It's a de facto ghetto though a de jure state. (The Warsaw ghetto was a ghetto de jure--Nazi de jure.) This begs the question of whether big brains really are benefiting the human race in toto. Since I love big brains I could care less if they are or not; they benefit me. So, go beg elsewhere.)

--Brant (rant)

Ed

Neil Parille's picture

Many excellent comments. Here is a piece from Mark Hunter (I think he mentions you):

http://ariwatch.com/Presidenti...

Peikoff can write an entire book with the subtitle "Why the lights of the west are going out" and not mention immigration once.

There are objectivists who have competency in their areas (for example Tara Smith), but when it comes to general cultural critcism they are blinded by Objectivist talking points. Brook can't be bothered to look at the reasons why even leftists (such as Nisbett and Turkheimer) believe in the validry of the concept of race of why IQ tests are not "bulshit." Brook lives in Southern California but can lecture the rest of us that we would realize that Mexicans are committing crime at a "much lower" rate than Anglos and we would realize it if weren't so stupid. Brook says that if we had "self esteem" and believe in our culture we could import 3 billion 3rd worlders into the United States. Why in the world is anyone giving money to the ARI?

Greg

Neil Parille's picture

Fahy and Valliant seem to lean against Jesus' existence. They say there is "no historical evidence" for this.

This is ridiculous. The only literary evidence for Pilate was the Gospels and Josephus. In 1961 an inscription was found with his name. Prior to 61 was it reasonable to doubt Pilate's existence? Same with Caiphas - ossuary was found recently that might reference him, but it was a mistake to believe he existed prior to 2000?

EDIT: this is what Valliant wrote: "There may have lived a man named Jesus, but there remains today no historical evidence that he did."

Ed

gregster's picture

Great comment, but Valliant and Fahey remain agnostic on whether Jesus existed, despite Objectivism's view of agnosticism.

this preposterous new claim by Valliant that not only Jesus of Nazareth did not exist

Ed

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Destroying Christianity is the primary goal of ARI, and has been since Peikoff issued his "Religion versus America" fatwa in 1986. But in the civilizational battle we are faced with, Christians are our allies against the Muslim hoards. Islam is the enemy. Unless Brook in some fashion comes to understand this, and focusses his attention (to the extent ARI should focus on politics at all) on the fight FOR Western Civilization, ARI remains the enemy of everything we hold dear, indeed the enemy of everything AYN RAND held dear.

Amen, Bro Ed!

We're all Goblians now!

Incidentally, if race is merely a "social construct," why does Yawon attack "white Chwistians"?

I suspect Ayn Rand would want to dynamite the edifice named after her a la Roark.

MOGA!

This Is It (Sent to Amy and Jim)

Neil Parille's picture

Jim,

I'm tired of the bull shit back and forth. Here is the deal.

1. I pay don’t let it go ONE thousand dollars within a week of the debate and ONE thousand FIVE HUNDRED dollars after a week.

2. Amy posts links to my critique of PARC (The Passion of James Valliant’s Criticism) and my amazon review of Creating Christ in the show notes.

3. Amy keeps our debate on her show/blog talk as long as other programs.

4. The first half of the show (45 mins) deals with Creating Christ. The question is whether the Flavians created the Gospels and whether the Gospels are fiction.

5. The second half concerns PARC and The Passion of Ayn Rand (by Barbara Branden).

6. I take the position that Barbara’s book is basically “fair and balanced” and you the opposite. I have the right to discuss Burns, Heller, and my suspicions about the accuracy of the material published by the Archive (including Journals and 100 Voices).

7. Out of respect for Amy I will not mention her ex (Leonard) and what role he may have played in the rewriting of Rand's material.

8. The debate will take place within two months.

9. We agree to be civil. I can refer to you as "Jim" and you can refer to me as "Neil" or "Parille" (pronounced pah-rell).

I have to be the only chump on earth who has paid for a debate. The accept deadline is Thursday, 7/27/2017 at 5PM Est. Any email before then which proposes a counter-offer will be deemed a rejection.

Neil

Valliant Won't Debate.

edpowell's picture

Of course Valliant won't debate. As I described to Neil privately:

He’s a lawyer and thinks like a lawyer. He has a client, his book, which he wants to convince a jury (his readers) is “innocent.” You, the prosecutor, know the book is guilty as hell (that is, false), and want to prove its guilt on some national TV program, let's assume for example, Tucker Carlson. You ask Valliant if would want to go on TV and debate with him his client’s guilt or innocence in front of the whole world, and in particular, you want to remind everyone that his LAST client (Valliant's book "The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics", PARC) was guilty as hell (since you literally wrote the rebuttal, "The Passion of James Valliant's Criticism"), and not only was that client guilty but he, Valliant, the defense counsel, lied in court about what the client actually said and did. (That is, Valliant engaged in a number of falsehoods and equivocations in PARC that are not justified by the facts). If we were talking about a real court case, no lawyer would take that deal. Lawyers love going on TV and saying how innocent their clients are, but they’d NEVER do so in a situation where they were exposed to a hostile interrogator. Valliant won't do it unless he’s in some way shamed into it. You and I and Linz are burned with Amy herself as she's chosen to ride the Yaron Brook sinking ship down to the bottom of the sea rather than engage in any serious intellectual discussion.

It's funny because Amy was really on Tucker Carlson the other day arguing about a study that said Christians are more tolerant than atheists, Amy arguing in the negative. But of course, Christians are FAR more tolerant OF IDEAS than atheists, ESPECIALLY Objectivists, who, as a whole, are the most intolerant lot on the planet. Even Raul Castro occasionally said to Fidel, "I think your going a little to far there, comrade, better pull back a little." Not so in the Objectivist community, where toeing the party line, NO MATTER HOW BIZARRE, becomes the primary motivation, rather than intellectual independence. We see this not only in the immigration debate, but in the fullsome praise for Ben Bayer's contentless article on fake news, Brook's denial that race exists (not that race is unimportant, but that it literally doesn't exist, it's a "social construct"), that IQ is a meaningful measurement, that Trump is a would-be dictator or authoritarian, that Muslims are a "pest" not a threat and that the real threat to Western Civilization is Trump, that Christians are no better than Muslims and the real threat to freedom in the US is Christian theocracy, that everyone who opposes them is a racist or xenophobe, that Hillary should have been elected, that Americans are lazy and worse overall as human beings than foreigners, that Milo is a racist and mysogynist, the outright false claims by Andrew Bernstein that certain revolting slaves were morally equivalent to the Founding Fathers, and that Bruce Jenner is a woman. I'm sure there's more. We could fill an entire thread with nothing but bizarre statements made by the Objectivist leadership and their sycophants and enforcers over the years that fly in the face of science, common sense, or rational thought. Indeed, Mark Hunter has made a mini career of doing so over at ariwatch.com.

And now we have this preposterous new claim by Valliant that not only Jesus of Nazareth did not exist--a person we have multiple second-hand accounts of his life and works--more than for Socrates, for example--but that the entire Jesus story in multiple letters and independent and somewhat mutually contradictory gospels was fabricated by the Emperor Vespasian and his minions to clamp down Jewish revolutionaries. I mean, the amount of WTF involved in reading this book--I'm only halfway through--is mind boggling. The distortions, the leaps of faith(!) required to believe the thesis, the massaging the historical record out of all recognizability, the gliding over inconvenient facts that have been well-known for literally millenia, makes this book a piece of garbage. Of course Valliant won't debate it. He has nothing to gain by debating Neil or anyone well-versed in ancient history, like Brook has nothing to gain by debating someone like Linz or myself on immigration. Brook is happy to fly around the country on other peoples' money debating some idiot socialist from Demos whose IQ is and knowledge of economics can be measured in single digits. They probably laugh and go have a drink together afterwards. But the idea of debating someone like Linz or Neil or myself, who will call them out on their bullshit, and back up our conclusions with both data from the real world as well as Objectivist principles properly formulated, they won't touch that with a ten-foot pole.

Brook's basic dishonesty can be seen in his interview with Amy on immigration, the transcript of which is posted elsewhere on this site. Over the course of an hour and a half, he takes every single position, open immigration, selective immigration, banning muslims, and others, claiming some sort of relationship between these positions based on context. So if someone claims he favors massive muslim immigration, he can say, no he doesn't, in the same paragraph where he urges the US to have completely open borders. He spends an hour on discussing immigration in an "ideal world", a world in which basically every country and most people are Objectivists, a world that has never and will never exist. He defends such a discussion by saying as a philosopher, he needs to deal with the principles. Well, here's a principle: in an "ideal world" the US wouldn't need an Army or a Navy either, so why doesn't he argue for the abolition of the US military with the same fervor he argues for open borders? I mean, is it because he's an idiot? Does he not possess enough of the little grey cells to realize that if we are arguing about principles in a particular context, the only relevant context to even discuss is WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY. If he wants to write a book about what immigration would be like in a purely Objectivist world, sometime in the year AD 4765, to be read only by his sycophants, that would be fine. But he is arguing for open borders TODAY when the issue is about civilizational survival. HE CANNOT BE THAT STUPID. There has to be an ulterior motive. Many people suggest the motive is his funding by the open borders libertarians. That's as good an explanation as anything. Clearly the explanation cannot be that Brook believes his own bullshit? Am I wrong? Valliant is in a similar position. He can't be stupid enough to think the nonsense he has written in his book about Vespasian inventing Christianity to pacify the Jews passes the smell test, much less Occam's Razor? He, like Rand, Peikoff, and Brook before him, just wants to throw mud at Christianity and by doing so Western Civilization. To say that Brook and Valliant are alienated from Western Civilization as a whole is an understatement. They claim to admire the Greek elements in Western Civilization, but in fact what they really want to do is expurgate all the Christian elements down to the last comma, even it if brings down the whole civilization around them. They think of themselves as intellectual Samsons, destroying the evil Christian temple surrounding them. When in reality, they are not intellectual Samsons but intellectual cockroaches, feeding on leftover garbage tossed to them by the Koch brothers and only occasionally causing enough of mess to be proclaimed a nuisance. Destroying Christianity is the primary goal of ARI, and has been since Peikoff issued his "Religion versus America" fatwa in 1986. But in the civilizational battle we are faced with, Christians are our allies against the Muslim hoards. Islam is the enemy. Unless Brook in some fashion comes to understand this, and focusses his attention (to the extent ARI should focus on politics at all) on the fight FOR Western Civilization, ARI remains the enemy of everything we hold dear, indeed the enemy of everything AYN RAND held dear.

No Debate

Neil Parille's picture

Valliant refuses to debate me, even on my dime. Not even a friendly discussion of Creating Christ.

Wotta Surprise

Neil Parille's picture

Only about 15 pre-conditions.

My pre-conditions were three: (1) Amy link to my critique of PARC and my review of Creating Christ on the show notes; (2) I be allowed to discuss the Burns and Heller books and my concerns about the accuracy of Ayn Rand Archival material; and (3) debate be general in nature because of time constraints.

I don't think the ability to discuss the other biographies and concerns about the Archival material should be a "condition" but it was something I felt needed to be explicit.

Incidentally, ARI archivist Jennifer Woodson admitted on FB recently that there are problems with the quality of the posthumously published material, so what's the big deal?

This was my outrageous proposal in full:
__________

Hi Jim,

Here is the proposal:

1. I pay don’t let it go one thousand dollars within a week of the debate and one thousand after a week.

2. Amy posts links to my critique of your PARC book (The Passion of James Valliant’s Criticism) and my amazon review of CC in the show notes.

3. The first half of the show (45 mins) deals with PARC. I have the right to discuss Burns, Heller, and my suspicions about the accuracy of the material published by the Archive (including Journals and 100 Voices). I take the position that Barbara’s book is basically “fair and balanced” and you the opposite.

4. The second half of the show concerns CC. The question is whether the Flavians created the Gospels and whether the Gospels are fiction.

5. I’m not afraid of being surprised, but since time will be short maybe Amy could provide in advance a basic outline of where she is going. “Jim – why do you believe the Passion of Ayn Rand is unreliable?” “Neil – why do you think the Flavians had no role in the New Testament writings.”

Neil
_________

Wotta surprise ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that they are imposing pre-conditions! I've never known them to do that. Smiling

In my case, I'd agreed immediately and unreservedly to be civil, since I regard that as a legitimate prerequisite. Then at the last minute came the requirement not to make any "broad criticisms of Yaron." That I could not accept. The fact that Yawon then went on air and claimed I pulled out because I couldn't agree to be civil shows what a liar he is.

ARISIS is an Obleftivist cult. No surprise they are massively funded by an ex-Scientologist. Their modus operandi is identical, including the activities of "enforcers" like Valliant and sundry other shills.

MOGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't Let The Deal Go Down

Neil Parille's picture

Haven't heard from Amy, but Valliant isn't exactly receptive without more restrictions than the Rockefeller Center has ornaments on its Christmas tree. I can only imagine the behind the scenes restrictions the ARI put on the Linz / Brook debate.

Parille Ups The Ante (Let's Get It On)

Neil Parille's picture

I just bet:

1. $5,000 to debate Elan Journo on Yaron's show (donation to the ARI) whether or not Islamic immigration is good for Europe.

2. $2,000 to debate Jim Valliant on Amy Peikoff's show (donation to dontletitgo.com) about Valliant's PARC and his book on Christ.

You can't say I don't put my money where my mouth is.

NP

Good soldier

gregster's picture

Brant, you're right. Some of us took longer to realise. ARI is an abomination. A money making scam with a Scientologist approach. Some heads need to roll.

YB

Brant Gaede's picture

It would be a good thing for Yaron if he zipped his lips.

For the rest of us he reveals truth--about his whole slimy enterprise.

--Brant

The ARI has nothing to do with AR--she'd take a blow torch to the place

DB

Brant Gaede's picture

Who is this Doug B with his half baked ideas about Israel?

Israel is not a sainted state. BFD!

Neither is the U S of A!

You can't deal with the NOW by dealing with what was. That's come and that's gone.

What's going on now?

Deal with that--the morality of that.

--Brant

Objectivist Position on Universal Basic Income

Chanakya's picture

In his latest podcast, Dr. Yaron Brook is suggesting that a universal basic income can be a good thing if it helps us to phase out all the other statist crap.

Here's the link to the podcast: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/y...

But that is is completely irrational position. He seems to be advocating compromise on moral principles. Towards the end of the show he does say that he is against UBI because it may morph into a large welfare program but I wish he had been more clear from the beginning.

Milo's back!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Seems hostility towards Milo by ARISIS's Yawon Bwook won't be holding Milo back! Smiling

http://www.allenbwest.com/matt...

And not a Scientologist in sight!

I See It Now

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay -- You're right. I missed that totally. Sad

Oh dear!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Kyrel, did you ever hear of "tongue-in-cheek"? I did take the precaution of putting a smiley after my statement—I guess to no avail. Here's what I was actually saying: "In the eyes of the orthodox, not only is reading Babs's book a moral crime, it is The Crime of the Millennium."

Sigh.

No

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay claims:

"Not only is reading Babs Branden's book a moral crime, it is The Crime of the Millennium."

The diametric opposite is true. That's pure cult talk. Every Objectivist whatsoever -- and anyone else who has even the slightest respect for truth on this issue -- needs to read and weigh this book against the essays and books of the ARIans. As on virtually every intellectual dispute, it's essential to read both sides.

And let no-one doubt: Solo Passion is far from free from Randroidism.

Barbara Branden's Book

Neil Parille's picture

Not only is reading Babs Branden's book a moral crime, it is the The Crime of the Millennium. I guess no one warned you. Smiling I attach little credence to Babs's book after research done right here by Michael Moeller, her indefensible smearing of me personally, and of course, the content of Rand's private journals published in the Valliant book. But every Objectivist in my view should read every book.

Linz, in case you didn't know "Babs['s]" book has been confirmed by the Burns and Heller books from 2009.

Anoop

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Not only is reading Babs Branden's book a moral crime, it is the The Crime of the Millennium. I guess no one warned you. Smiling

I attach little credence to Babs's book after research done right here by Michael Moeller, her indefensible smearing of me personally, and of course, the content of Rand's private journals published in the Valliant book. But every Objectivist in my view should read every book. This sight-unseen unfriending you've experienced, Anoop, is indicative that the old intrinsicist/rationalist/religiosity mind-set endures. Alas, it afflicts both sides of the divide. Brandroids are as bad, if not as numerous, as Randroids.

Anoop Derangement Syndrome

Chanakya's picture

Thank you for allowing me to be a member of SOLO Objectivist forum. I am glad to be here.

The last few days have been quite difficult, due to the character assignation campaigns and unfriending campaigns being launched against me in the social media.

About 60 people have thus far unfriended me on FB. None of these 60 people cared to ask me to present my side of the story even though I had been their active supporter for last 3 years since I became active in FB Objectivist circles.

With due respect to the Objectivists in FB, I must say that they are now exhibiting signs of what seems like a severe case of “Anoop Derangement Syndrome.”

It is not as if I have tried to cause any harm to the Objectivist movement. My conscience is clear. In my recent blogs I have only asked the questions which people have been asking for the last 30 years. These questions are 30 years old, and they are very pertinent questions. There is nothing new or illogical that I have said.

Is it my problem if they have not been able to resolve these issues for 30 years? Also, is reading Barbara Branden’s The Passion of Ayn Rand a moral crime?

Yes ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... highly principled and heroic. No doubt there's been much pain for Anoop in his declaration of independence, some of which he's shared with me privately. But he's persevered. Coming here was a brave step, too.

Death to Obleftivism!

Yes, Welcome!

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Anoop is highly principled and heroic. Last year I tried to join an Objectivist Facebook group called For the New Intellectual. But some guy, who I don't know about to this day, repeatedly kicked me out. Anoop repeatedly added me back in. Finally, he prevailed. I hugely appreciate this!

And just for the record: I'm 100% respectful and polite over there, with essentially zero ad hominem attacks, and I always attempt to keep the discussion on a high -- but interesting and fun -- level. I conduct myself there almost identically to how I conduct myself here, just a bit more carefully. And I only self-promote with links maybe one out of three of my best Solo Passion articles.

Welcome, Anoop!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Congratulations on the fire you have placed under the posteriors of the Obleftivist elite!

On Lindsay Perigo’s article

Chanakya's picture

When I read Lindsay Perigo’s article for the first time, I was shocked by its no-holds-barred attack on people who are regarded as the voice of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.

But then I thought that this article must be seen as a natural reaction to the position that a few highly regarded Objectivist intellectuals have taken on President Trump. If these intellectuals claim that Mr. Trump and vast majority of his supporters are fascists and racists, then they have to prove it with evidence. Mr. Trump has now been in power for 4-months—what fascist and racist acts has he committed thus far?

From the philosopher class, especially those who are stand as the voice of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, a better political analysis is expected. If they project political analysis that is not fully thought through then they will squander the moral support they have been enjoying in the past. Some people may become disenchanted and start drifting away.

The Objectivist intellectuals have to be careful when they present their views on mass political movements like the one that Mr. Trump is leading. They have to have a benevolent view of why the movement is enjoying such support. What concerns are driving the people to Mr. Trump? If the intellectuals fail to take such concerns into account, they will appear insular and elitist.

But Perigo's article is a clear reflection of the fact that all is not well in Objectivism. The movement is no longer being seen by many people as the "voice of reason."

Ayn Rand on Evil

Luke Setzer's picture

"I wouldn't mind it if we had been beaten by a tall warrior in a steel helmet, a human dragon spitting fire. But we're beaten by a louse. A big, fat, slow, blond louse."

Rand, Ayn. We the Living (p. 391). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

"It was a pedestal from which a god had been torn, and in his place there stood, not Satan with a sword, but a corner lout sipping a bottle of Coca-Cola."

Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead (p. iv). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

"... and that would be the end of the world, not fire and brimstone, but goo."

Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) (p. 890). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Luke

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I expect the Clinton Foundation and ARISIS share some donors in common.

My exasperation here is that now of all times is when we want to hear Ayn Rand's inimitable, incomparable roar against evil. Instead of that, her official representatives are part of the evil. No doubt they are rejoicing that their Dem-Scum pin-ups are thwarting Trump at every turn.

Death to Obleftivism!

ARI Money Laundering

Luke Setzer's picture

Linz, those ARI payout schemes resemble those of the Clinton Foundation.

I still wonder what is the equivalent "pay for play"!

Yes!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Ed writes:

... if you judge ARI as an organization dedicated to extracting cash from sincere admirers of Ayn Rand's ideas and then distributing that cash to the Objectivist aristocracy of pull, then ARI is a smashing success.

It is indeed. Did someone post here that Bwook gets over $400,000 a year plus bonuses for touting his evil Obleftivism? The feathering of one's own nest well beyond the parameters of genuine merit began with Binswanker and Warts demanding outlandish fees—tens of thousands per lecture—at Thomas Jefferson School conferences back in the 80s. This was the origin of the falling-out between George Reisman, TJS founder, and the OrthOists. I was present at those gatherings. No way were Warts's and Binswanker's lectures worth tens of thousand of dollars.

These guys are just Narcissistic nobodies unfit to lick Ayn Rand's boots. Bwook decidedly included.

Let me make one thing clear: I'll debate this treasonous, Hillary-enabling low-life on any forum moderated by a genuine independent, someone not on his payroll, someone who doesn't demand of me at the last minute that I refrain from "broad generalisations" "critical" of the filth. And I reserve the right to call him what I just called him, since that's what he is and I have ample evidence—this is not an arbitrary assertion. He in turn can call me anything he likes. I am not hung up on politeness. Civility in the face of evil is no virtue. Bwook is evil.

Successful Ideological Organizations

edpowell's picture

There are plenty of successful ideological organizations, mostly on the Left. On the right, the most successful one is the National Rifle Association, which is both a single-issue organization and non-partisan. Heritage Foundation has been quite successful in getting its policies implemented as well (not that I approve of all or even most of them). The key is narrow focus. ARI is so wildly all over the map on programs, initiatives, speakers, etc., that coherence is not really possible, and this is in spite of, if not because of, the crushing conformity it applies to all employees. The Libertarians have built a much better structure in the Mises Institute, which has had phenomenal success in placing libertarian thinkers at many places in the country, for the most part all Rothbardian anarchists, but it's been quite an achievement. They allow some heterodoxy though, which increases their numbers without diluting the overall message. I don't think it's that hard, really, but Brook is incompetent at running such an organization. On the other hand, if you judge ARI as an organization dedicated to extracting cash from sincere admirers of Ayn Rand's ideas and then distributing that cash to the Objectivist aristocracy of pull, then ARI is a smashing success.

Specific Steps to Reform ARI?

Luke Setzer's picture

Can anyone here point to a "successful" ideological organization whose lessons can be transferred to ARI to reform it before it self-destructs?

I still think some of its programs are quite worthwhile, but the currently prominent mouthpieces are not among them!

Yes...

Olivia's picture

Mr. Verma is taking a hammering for his stance. Predictable.

The Message Is Getting Through!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

A brave soul named Anoop Verma has very publicly (Faecesbook) parted ways with ARISIS. He has given me permission to quote a comment he recently made to me in private about my Open Letter:

Mr. Perigo, your article was the catalyst that enabled me to break from ARI brand of organized Objectivism.

Expect to see him show up on SOLO shortly. Smiling

A hoax ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... but how would we know? What difference would we notice if it were not a hoax? ARISIS's acquiescence to the Islamisation of Europe renders anything ARISIS says on the subject risible and contemptible.

Luke,

Mark Hunter's picture

ARI’s position on immigration makes FluchtHelfer believable but it is in fact a hoax perpetrated by a group calling itself “PENG!” based in Berlin. See
www.homment.com/L8Rfj5hxRm

Scholasticism

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Ed writes three days ago:

"I am certainly second to none in my condemnation of Amy's behavior with regard to creating a safe space for Yaron on her podcast, instead of a vigorous debate of real issues. However, neither Yaron nor ARI has any control over Atlas Shrugged--that's all Leonard Peikoff. This deal was probably put together back while Amy and Bosch were still a couple, and I'm sure it was what she was talking about a number of times last year when she hinted at "big news." Now that Amy and Bosch are no longer a couple, I can guess the collaboration has been more difficult.

"Amy's position as a "Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Research Fellow for the Study of Objectivism" at Southwestern Law School is one of those academic positions funded by ARI/Anthem to promote Objectivist scholarship in the university setting. As a general idea this isn't too bad, though in practice it means just jobs for the well-connected, those in the Objectivist "aristocracy of pull". From the university's perspective, of course, she's just an adjunct--that is, a lowly-paid contract teacher--not a "professor" in the usual sense. If the ARI/Anthem money went away (and while we don't know what that money is, it's probably substantial, given the usual modus operandi of ARI in extracting cash from Objectivist donors to lavish on the elite), she would almost certainly lose the lengthy 13-word title and go back to being an adjunct and teaching a course or two a semester at $5K each, not much to live on in LA.

"So Amy's entire life as a lawyer/scholar is directly related to making Yaron happy, and indeed making her ex-husband Leonard happy, or at least not pissing them off in a way that would potentially threaten her sinecure at SWLS. Given how incredibly venal, vindictive, and emotionally unstable most members of Objectivism, Inc. are, if Amy were a normal person, and not an alleged advocate of a rational philosophy for living on Earth, one might almost be able to forgive her for caving into a system designed to breed intellectual conformance and obedience to the Objectivist Elite in a way St. Benedict would be proud of. Unfortunately, Amy put forward a number of times the idea that she welcomes debate and polite disagreement (which I took advantage of numerous times), but when it came down to making her gravy train look bad, she blinked integrity-wise. I have not listened to her show since the debate, but if anyone has, I'd be interested in what has gone on. Is it all sycophants plus crazy people? (Unscreened talk shows always have crazy people). Or are there people like me who politely disagree from a perspective of (at least I hope) intellectual strength?

"What does it even mean any more to call oneself an "Objectivist" when the alleged keepers of the flame of Objectivism are no longer themselves faithful to Ayn Rand's philosophy? Like the Scholastics dogmatizing the concretes of Aristotle, ARI is dogmatizing the concretes of Objectivism, ripped bodily from their contexts of the real world. What broke the grip of the Scholastics on the heart of Western philosophy was not so much "more Aristotle" but in fact the flood of manuscripts from Byzantium after it fell, including Plato and others, that introduced a little intellectual heterodoxy into the West. A little heterodoxy is what Objectivism needs these days, more debates on more concrete topics, not less. And who knows, maybe in these debates the "orthodox view" will prevail most of the time? Maybe it won't. But one thing is for sure, without ever being seriously challenged, people like Amy and Yaron will intellectually atrophy to the point of even more irrelevance than they are today, no matter how much money the Koch Brothers pump into ARI. They're flabby and it shows. Any decent Objectivist "Rocky" could give them a beating in the ring, if they were to ever accept such a match. I always thought Yaron was simply so megalomaniacally condescending that he could not even conceive of being beaten by anyone. But now I think he may very well be afraid. He has his gravy train too that he has to protect, just like Amy does."

Wow! That's a hell of a lot of insight and wisdom for just four paragraphs! Smiling

I love discussing and debating Objectivism. It's my favorite topic. Frequently saying critical things about it doesn't make me a non-Objectivist. But what an intellectually intimidated, socially conformist, personally defeated, limited, scared, wimpy, weak, pitiful Philosophical World those cult-style "Objectivists" have created! Rational, normal, healthy, happy people don't want to be a part of it. True Objectivists don't want to be, and essentially can't be, a part of it.

For what it's worth, I had a private conversation with David Kelley in 2007 (probably) and asked him if he considered the ARIans to be Scholastics, as I did. He didn't give me a good answer. Only when I repeated it did he agree, under pressure from myself. So I don't know if he truly thinks this, or was just being polite.

But I still hold the position that just as the Aristotle-loving and -quoting Scholastics were, ultimately, enemies of Aristotle; so too the ARIans and other religious-style "Objectivists" are, ultimately, enemies of Rand and Objectivism. They ostensively worship her, and have memorized her words -- but they lack personal and intellectual loyalty to the crucial values of reason, individualism, and freedom and independence of discussion and debate.

US Ayn Rand Institute Promoting Muslim Migration to Germany

Luke Setzer's picture

I found this article interesting:

http://russia-insider.com/en/p...

It looks like someone may well have hijacked the ARI name as a "Registrant Organization" for a site that promotes Muslim infiltration of Germany.

On the other hand, the "open borders" advocacy of the ARI suggests this may not be a hijacking after all.

A comment to the article suggests Zionists favor overrunning Christian Europe with Muslims as collective revenge against Christian oppression of Jews across the centuries.

It is quite a tangled piece of journalism, and I would normally dismiss it outright as too conspiratorial to accept, but in trying to make sense of what the ARI is doing, I cannot so readily dismiss it after all.

Ed

Neil Parille's picture

Here is another article on Sweden:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/...

Amy linked to it and briefly discussed it on her show. She said it was hard to find the truth about what was going on with crime in Sweden. Yeah, right.

Amy's show is pretty much the same as before. She should have good guests such as Tom Woods has and not flaky callers who can't stay on topic.

And

Lindsay Perigo's picture

What does it even mean any more to call oneself an "Objectivist" when the alleged keepers of the flame of Objectivism are no longer themselves faithful to Ayn Rand's philosophy? Like the Scholastics dogmatizing the concretes of Aristotle, ARI is dogmatizing the concretes of Objectivism, ripped bodily from their contexts of the real world. What broke the grip of the Scholastics on the heart of Western philosophy was not so much "more Aristotle" but in fact the flood of manuscripts from Byzantium after it fell, including Plato and others, that introduced a little intellectual heterodoxy into the West. A little heterodoxy is what Objectivism needs these days, more debates on more concrete topics, not less. And who knows, maybe in these debates the "orthodox view" will prevail most of the time? Maybe it won't. But one thing is for sure, without ever being seriously challenged, people like Amy and Yaron will intellectually atrophy to the point of even more irrelevance than they are today, no matter how much money the Koch Brothers pump into ARI. They're flabby and it shows.

Ed, this is brilliance from you, as far as I'm concerned. I have touted something new like "Authenticism" to improve upon Objectivism, except I now hate that name and realise anew that the problem with Objectivism is not the philosophy (all tweaks must surely be accommodable within the purview of adherence to reality?) but its purported adherents. If they stuck, metaphysically, to reality rather than their a priori talking points, and if they stuck, ethically, to reality rather than which side their bread is buttered on, Objectivism would flourish—vociferous public debates included.

This much I know: Binswanger is poison. Bwook is mercenary poison. Obleftivism is Fake Objectivism.

Rote Rationalists

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Any decent Objectivist "Rocky" could give them a beating in the ring, if they were to ever accept such a match. I always thought Yaron was simply so megalomaniacally condescending that he could not even conceive of being beaten by anyone. But now I think he may very well be afraid. He has his gravy train too that he has to protect, just like Amy does.

Can anyone think of a single occasion when an OrthOist leader has debated a critic? It would have happened with me but for Amy's last-minute ban on broad, critical statements. Has it actually happened at any time? Look at all the vociferous debates on YouTube where defenders and opponents of various ideologies have at it, and differences within ideologies are aired, uninhibitedly. Heck, there are even Muslims taking on their critics at events organised for that very purpose! Can anyone find an OrthOist doing that? There's no debate culture within OrgOism, just the tried-and-false stale conformism and rote rationalism, so egregiously displayed by Binswanger in his immigration article.

I find it telling that no Oist—except one, who quickly retreated, on Ed Cline's site—came forward to dispute my paragraph about intrinsicism and rights. There should be vociferous debate on this sort of issue within Oism, but of course all one gets is the usual rote recitation.

As far as the Obleftivist gravy train is concerned—let's derail it!!

Amy and Bosch and Yaron and Atlas

edpowell's picture

I am certainly second to none in my condemnation of Amy's behavior with regard to creating a safe space for Yaron on her podcast, instead of a vigorous debate of real issues. However, neither Yaron nor ARI has any control over Atlas Shrugged--that's all Leonard Peikoff. This deal was probably put together back while Amy and Bosch were still a couple, and I'm sure it was what she was talking about a number of times last year when she hinted at "big news." Now that Amy and Bosch are no longer a couple, I can guess the collaboration has been more difficult.

Amy's position as a "Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Research Fellow for the Study of Objectivism" at Southwestern Law School is one of those academic positions funded by ARI/Anthem to promote Objectivist scholarship in the university setting. As a general idea this isn't too bad, though in practice it means just jobs for the well-connected, those in the Objectivist "aristocracy of pull". From the university's perspective, of course, she's just an adjunct--that is, a lowly-paid contract teacher--not a "professor" in the usual sense. If the ARI/Anthem money went away (and while we don't know what that money is, it's probably substantial, given the usual modus operandi of ARI in extracting cash from Objectivist donors to lavish on the elite), she would almost certainly lose the lengthy 13-word title and go back to being an adjunct and teaching a course or two a semester at $5K each, not much to live on in LA.

So Amy's entire life as a lawyer/scholar is directly related to making Yaron happy, and indeed making her ex-husband Leonard happy, or at least not pissing them off in a way that would potentially threaten her sinecure at SWLS. Given how incredibly venal, vindictive, and emotionally unstable most members of Objectivism, Inc. are, if Amy were a normal person, and not an alleged advocate of a rational philosophy for living on Earth, one might almost be able to forgive her for caving into a system designed to breed intellectual conformance and obedience to the Objectivist Elite in a way St. Benedict would be proud of. Unfortunately, Amy put forward a number of times the idea that she welcomes debate and polite disagreement (which I took advantage of numerous times), but when it came down to making her gravy train look bad, she blinked integrity-wise. I have not listened to her show since the debate, but if anyone has, I'd be interested in what has gone on. Is it all sycophants plus crazy people? (Unscreened talk shows always have crazy people). Or are there people like me who politely disagree from a perspective of (at least I hope) intellectual strength?

What does it even mean any more to call oneself an "Objectivist" when the alleged keepers of the flame of Objectivism are no longer themselves faithful to Ayn Rand's philosophy? Like the Scholastics dogmatizing the concretes of Aristotle, ARI is dogmatizing the concretes of Objectivism, ripped bodily from their contexts of the real world. What broke the grip of the Scholastics on the heart of Western philosophy was not so much "more Aristotle" but in fact the flood of manuscripts from Byzantium after it fell, including Plato and others, that introduced a little intellectual heterodoxy into the West. A little heterodoxy is what Objectivism needs these days, more debates on more concrete topics, not less. And who knows, maybe in these debates the "orthodox view" will prevail most of the time? Maybe it won't. But one thing is for sure, without ever being seriously challenged, people like Amy and Yaron will intellectually atrophy to the point of even more irrelevance than they are today, no matter how much money the Koch Brothers pump into ARI. They're flabby and it shows. Any decent Objectivist "Rocky" could give them a beating in the ring, if they were to ever accept such a match. I always thought Yaron was simply so megalomaniacally condescending that he could not even conceive of being beaten by anyone. But now I think he may very well be afraid. He has his gravy train too that he has to protect, just like Amy does.

Well ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... I wish that project every success. Just makes it all the more tragic that OrgOism has been hijacked by Obleftivists. What will people do when they come to Oism via this project and find ... Politically Cowwect Yawon and Twump Dewangement Syndwome?! Is he still doing weekly hystewical anti-Twump diatwibes? Thank Galt I don't have to listen any more.

Linz

gregster's picture

You wrote:
... someone has just made to me privately, re Amy's sad attempt to make the debate a "safe space" for Yawon: "She’s relegated her show to the safety of the echo chamber. No juice, no conflict, no ratings."

Now I hear Amy and Bosch have been working on the Atlas Shrugged graphic novel, which wouldn't go ahead if she were to allow you to convincingly embarrass Yawon. Or, you can see she's compromised.

Fwiends of Yawon

Neil Parille's picture

Linz - Remember that according to Amy and Yawon there can't be any "ideological screening" of immigrants. Satan worshipers? - "let 'em, yeah let 'em in"

Personally, I'd let all of these Russian girls in:

More fwiends of Yawon?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

More MS-13-filth murders:

https://www.yahoo.com/celebrit...

Illegals again!

Fwiends of Yawon?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

MS-13, referenced in my Open Letter, has just made headlines for some of its routine, grisly murders. Ten of the twelve sub-humans charged are illegals, just the way Yawon likes 'em for his gardening. Presumably there'll now be a call from Obleftivists to drop the charges and offer the filth not just amnesty but an apology?

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03...

Nothing wrong with being a

Andrew Atkin's picture

Nothing wrong with being a eugenists, Lindsay. Nature herself is obsessed with it. We find people attractive if we like the look of their *genetic* profile. We are all actually born eugenicists - like all other animals.

When we can accept that a degree of natural (or man made) selection is necessary to maintain the health of our species, our society can then sit down and have a rational conversation on the topic. It's just a shame the Mr Hitler show has made us all eugenic-phobic, and to the point where we can't even be honest about it now.

At the moment ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... in New Zealand, trash is paid to breed by the taxpayer. As an interim measure I advocate paying trash not to breed—i.e., subsidise contraceptive implants for trash. Apparently this makes me a eugenicist.

Trash comes in all colours. I find the subject of race boring and irrelevant. It's human vs sub-human for me.

Stupid White Hillbillies

Luke Setzer's picture

I have no interest in encouraging stupid white hillbillies to reproduce. I have every interest in encouraging intelligent Hmong immigrants to reproduce. The challenge is creating a public policy that rewards responsible reproduction and punishes irresponsible reproduction. I have no ready solutions. My immediate goal is effective border control, period. This includes effective immigrant screening for basic abilities to live productively in our unique nation. Everything else comes second.

I have no big stake in this with you, Doug. Perhaps you should challenge Linz to a live debate to win him to your way of thinking. He has far more influence than I have.

Not Just Skin Color

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

I consider it unfortunate that certain people here obsess with skin color

Jesus Christ. This is the problem with blank slaters. You think that race is just different "skin color". As if its all just a matter of pigmentation. This shows that you have NO familiarity with the literature. Its not just "skin color". Its different average brain size, different hormonal milieu, different IQ distribution, different degrees of impulse control, different degrees of predisposition to crime, different sexual reproductive strategies (r v K)*, different time horizons regarding delayed gratification, different degrees of ethno-centrism (heavily genetic), etc.

Objectivists say they are "pro-science" but are you? Luke, do you think that those Darwinian selection pressures you say you believe in stopped at the neck? That there is some magic ray shield that protects brain tissue? And if you are an evolutionist how can you not take into account ethnic tensions and conflicts in human history? What biologists would call "intra-species genetic variation". Do you even history bro?

I now fully expect vehement, militant, "biologically based" counterarguments

Its not "vehement" or "militant" but it is a science based counter argument. But you say this:

I have no expectation that those certain people will bother to moderate their own views.

Do you need a safe space Luke? Perhaps you can go hang out with the SJWs and together you can all condemn any hereditarians as "worse than Hitler".

I can understand those that want the multi-racial libertarian society. But *at least* understand what it is that you are advocating for and how dangerous the consequences if you fail.

---------

* And related to this: different fertility rates. This is the thing Luke. You want your "Western Civilization" with its commitment to the *abstractions* grounded in natural rights. But the lower IQ people that you would admit into your nation have fertility rates *in excess of yours*. Which means they will OUTBREED you. Now, the trick is to transmit the love of those vaunted pro-liberty abstractions to those people before they swamp you and establish a civilization which is at the level of THEIR IQ BASELINE.

That is no small task Luke. There is a north / south IQ gradient which exists no matter how much you close your eyes to it. The challenge for humanity is somehow overcoming that.

Stupid Racism versus Stupid Immigration Policy

Luke Setzer's picture

I want to make myself fully clear on this thread. I stopped supporting ARI because of their irrational open borders policy. I oppose open borders because no borders means no nation. No nation means no sensible geographical region under which a single government can maintain a monopoly on the use of force. No monopoly on the use of force means anarchy and chaos. Anarchy and chaos run counter to the use of rationality in social exchanges. No rationality in social exchanges means no recognition of natural rights and so no enforcement of them. The concept of natural rights is exactly that -- a concept, not a percept, or an abstraction rather than a concrete. This concept has a long and rich history of which most of the world remains deprived. Admitting unlimited numbers of people so deprived into an otherwise rational nation leads eventually to an irrational nation.

How ARI people resolve all these conflicts inside their own heads continues to elude me. If someone can point to a single, cohesive, written document that ARI publishes to resolve these many contradictions, I will cheerfully read it. I have no interest in slogging through windy 90 minute podcasts, nor have I interest in attempting to piece passages from many different articles together. The burden falls on ARI to prove their position, not on me to disprove it. Ed Powell has already satisfactorily debunked their position in his exhaustive 69 page monograph. I concede that I engaged in "speed reading" through it to get the main points and the very telling excerpts from leading ARI intellectuals, but that was enough to dissuade me from continued support. Islam poses an immediate, existential threat to us, and we should treat all its adherents accordingly. As for the rest, admitting unlimited numbers of non-Western and non-Anglo people into our borders with little thought to long-term negative cultural impacts against our worthy and proven English and Western heritage is just not acceptable, period.

My position has nothing whatsoever to do with race and everything to do with culture and associated conditioning and norms of behavior. I consider it unfortunate that certain people here obsess with skin color when discussing immigration policy. As a counterexample, I point to the Republic of Panama. The Panamanians currently fight the same problem with border-hopping Colombians as the Americans face with border-hopping Mexicans. While they all speak Spanish and look quite similar, the Colombians still embody different norms and dialects that make them stand apart from the Panamanians to the displeasure of Panamanians. A friend of my Panamanian wife works border patrol between Colombia and Panama. He has interesting stories to share, I am sure. The main complaints I hear are the same, namely the importation of crime and drugs and the disruption of the labor market. I am not familiar enough with the situation to comment further, but I find what I have heard so far quite telling nonetheless.

I will not deny that the United States immigration reform of 1965 and the Reagan amnesty of 1986 have proven giant mistakes. At least, based on arguments I have seen advanced from a range of sources, they show all signs of wrong moves in cultivating a functional national population free of needless conflict and freeloading. We have enough homegrown losers without importing them.

I now fully expect vehement, militant, "biologically based" counterarguments from certain people who continue to conflate race with culture. Linz was right to put those certain people on moderation. I have no expectation that those certain people will bother to moderate their own views.

Reply to Ethno-nationalism

Mark Hunter's picture

Kyrel

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

"The Arabs seem to display a thousand times the racism and violence towards the Jews as the reverse."

You haven't read enough on the subject. I used to think the same thing too. I am not a Muslim apologist. Islam is an evil religion and represents a danger to the non-Muslim world but largely because of immigration. But if you study the history of Zionism and Israel you will see that the Jews were *more* violent than the Arabs. Even today the Israelis kill more Arabs than the reverse by far. And the settlements in the West Bank are *explicit* racial colonies. I have no problem with that but that is not what Objectivists and other Israel apologists defend. They defend "an outpost of Western Civilization".

Israel is a mixed economy with a socialist bent that is a de facto apartheid state (although a complicated one). Its a type of ethno state and is defended by Jews like Yaron Brook on the idea that only Jews have the moral purity to have such an ethnic societal organization. Objectivists think that the Jews are "altruistic". Not only O'ists, Larry Auster who I admired used to think something similar. Both are wrong. Jews are the best defenders of their interests on Earth. They manipulate the world's largest empire to fight their wars for them. So great is their influence on America that it can be said of Congress that it is an agent of the Likud Party.

You say:

"Jews and Israelis appease evil almost without limit. They make excuses for, and accommodations with, their Arab and Muslim enemies to a beyond-absurd degree."

Oh god Kyrel. This is literally the most ahistorical and idiotic thing that a person can say. I know because I used to say idiotic things like this too. The reality is that the Jews are the MOST ethno-centric people on this planet and there is a biologic reason for that. Google up Kevin MacDonald and read his essays and books especially "The Culture of Critique" to really understand Jewish psychology and Jewish history.

The Jews and Israel

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Doug -- You write of the "often violently racist treatment of Arabs" by Jews. It's hard for me to imagine a more untrue statement, especially since Israel's founding in 1948. The Arabs seem to display a thousand times the racism and violence towards the Jews as the reverse. (Also towards Westerners in general.) As for the intensely highly-principled and ultra-moral Jews -- with their often foolish and self-contradictory philosophy -- I don't know of any race more phantasmagorically tolerant of, and friendly to, their monstrous enemies. They befriend their attackers to the point of suicide. Jews are easily the most self-hating, self-destroying people in the history of man. (With Westerners and Americans as healthy competitors.) Jews and Israelis appease evil almost without limit. They make excuses for, and accommodations with, their Arab and Muslim enemies to a beyond-absurd degree. They do the same with their black enemies here in America. Ultimately, Jewish philosophy and morality isn't close to being purely rational and liberal, thus it leads them badly astray, and renders them very strange creatures.

Ed

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

Very thoughtful comment. But I have some comments in return:

"Thus I find the idea of Israel as the Jewish State perfectly reasonable, despite all the problems that were manifested in its creation. I find it can be defended simply on this basis."

In theory I would agree. If Zionists want a Zionist state then let them pay for it every dime and let them face the consequences for their often violently racist treatment of Arabs. But that's not the way it works out in practice. Israel manipulates America into fighting its wars and is a welfare whore. Now I understand that American foreign policy has been controlled by international leftists and neo-cons, but Israel seems to me to be sociopathic in its manipulation of US foreign policy. The Iraq war was a case in point. And Israel would do it again with Iran. But you are right, Jews should have their own country. Many American Jews should make Aliyah there. It would be better for anti-white Jews to move from the US. It would be better for everyone.

"The United States was founded on a few important philosophical principles"

The United States was founded as a white settler nation Ed. Read the Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795. America became a continental empire under Manifest Destiny which was significantly motivated by pro-white racialist thinking. Teddy Roosevelt took us into war with Spain in the Philippines based on more racialist thinking. Hell, the only way they could pass the 1965 immigration act was to say that it wouldn't change the racial demographics. Of course those fuckers lied.

I think that America was at root a fundamentally Western European country which had Classical Liberal ideas. But making too much of Classical Liberalism is a flaw with many libertarians and all Objectivists. I don't think America can be saved in its current form and it would be best if North America could be divided up along racial lines. Hopefully you could get a limited government non ethnic republic but multi-racial America is doomed.

"Only violence on a large scale--we're talking Stalin-level violence--could ever transform the US into an ethno-nationalist state, and obviously I find that abhorrent."

The USSR broke up relatively peacefully. And Russia was able to keep its nukes. I think that we need an American Gorbachev who could transition America out of its imperialist stage and break it up into independent territories. There is historical precedent for a non-blood-soaked transition. I think that if America remains a multi-ethnic empire then you will really see blood. And tyranny.

"If the US wants to be the country organized on the principle that "all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," that's great too."

Again Ed. Rethink this old Liberalism. You have given a great contribution to the immigration debate and its fine if you want to fight for a race-blind minarchism. I'm sympathetic. But I think its important to look at America with historical accuracy. I hate the immature hero-worship and rose-colored glasses that Objectivists display when they analyze US history. Compared to the knowledgable libertarians, especially the Austrians like Tom Woods, O'ists come across as ignorant teenagers which is the stereotype they have always been tagged with.

America was intended to be a free white man's republic. Because of Leftist duplicity, and Jewish duplicity as well (see MacDonald's "Culture of Critique"), America was tricked into changing its ethnic composition. Very few Americans, white or black, back in the early 60s would have voted for Kennedy and Javitz's Immigration Act if they could have seen what it would have lead to. I'm in my mid 40s and the country I live in now is not the one I grew up in. No matter how much I love individual freedom and free markets, I feel betrayed by that. And threatened.

Brook's history of Israel is Crap

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

If you study the history of Israel you will find different opinions than the one Brook holds. Its a complicated subject but IMO the Jews come across as unlikeable and often blood thirsty in establishing Israel. Brook is wrong that the Arabs were nomads and didn't own property there. Jews were less than 5% of the population and both Jews and Arabs had been living relatively peacefully for centuries. The British gave away land they had no right to; colonialism run amok. Also, Jewish terrorism was instrumental in creating Israel. Both against the Arabs and the British. Google up the Stern Brothers. Nasty bunch.

Put Brook in a debate on the history of Israel and IMO he would get destroyed. And I haven't even covered Israel atrocities against America such as the Levon Affair and the USS Liberty. Israel has been vicious and treacherous.

Being anti-Islam is important. But I think it is equally as important to be anti-Zionism. This is the step that the mainstream Right just will not take. Not even Trump sadly (and how could he given the situation with his daughter).

Jews as morally pure argument

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

...and why it is
ethnocentric in a significant way and why we could somehow justify that.

There is no way to justify that ever IMO.

Its the "moral purity of the Jews" argument that only Jews are worthy of an ethno-centric society because of their suffering (I thought Objectivists didn't believe that suffering conveys moral stature.). Its blatantly hypocritical and really does invite anti-Semitism. What people who have not studied the history of the Jews don't understand is that for various reasons the Jews have always been *fiercely* ethno-centric; and ethno-centrism is a heritable trait so we are at the level of biology here. This has always made Jews very in-group centered and thus anti-social to out-groups. This also explains many of my own interactions with Jews over the years and I think it explains the Objectivist movement (as opposed to Mises U which is largely Christian with Jewish contributors).

Objectivists still believe that anti-Semitism has its root in envy of Jewish success. That may play a small role. But it is the anti-social behavior of Jews throughout the centuries that is largely responsible for anti-Semitism. Jews often show animosity to out-groups and the Talmud is the most racist of all religious texts. Which is the point that many critics of Jews on the alt-right make (namely Kevin MacDonald); that Jews have been complicit in the animosity that has been directed against them over the centuries. This doesn't mean that they didn't experience real injustice. They have. But they retaliate in kind and the cycle keeps repeating. Now, you have many Jewish leftists that want to see white Christians disappear. And Objectivists are oblivious to this as they can't see past their limited filters.

He is truly a horrible person

edpowell's picture

Is there any other conclusion about how he deals with callers to his show?

Yaron Unplugged

Neil Parille's picture

At 1:06 someone attempts to make some good points (for example he agrees with Ayn Rand that a woman shouldn't be president) then Yaron shuts him off.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/y...

Ethno-nationalism

edpowell's picture

There are about 200 countries in the world and no prominent Objectivist has ever discussed the phenomenon or tried to tease out any ideas about what makes a good country or not. While Rand (and perhaps others) explicitly rejected the idea of global government (since it is such a manifestly bad idea), the approach of Brook and others seems always to point in that direction, in the direction of open borders and thus population mixing and thus increasing homogeneity among populations. But I don't see necessarily how this follows at all from the objective facts on the ground.

I have nothing against ethno-nationalism as the organizing principle for a given country. I don't see why Britain can't be British, France French, Germany German, Poland Polish, Egypt Egyptian, Iran Persian, India Indian, China Chinese, or Japan Japanese. I don't see any reason why these countries can't create immigration policies centered around this idea. There is no universal principle requiring the homogenization of populations against the will of the people involved. Thus I find the idea of Israel as the Jewish State perfectly reasonable, despite all the problems that were manifested in its creation. I find it can be defended simply on this basis.

The question then becomes, do I thin the USA should be an ethno-nationalist state? My answer is no. The fact that I don't see anything wrong with ethno-nationalism in principle, does not mean I find ethno-nationalism to be required. The United States was founded on a few important philosophical principles--rooted it is true in the English experience--but as long as a person agrees with and works toward these principles, I personally see no reason why he can't be as American as any DAR member. Secondly, the facts on the ground have long since prevented the US from exercising ethno-nationalism as its organizing principle--that ship has sailed. Only violence on a large scale--we're talking Stalin-level violence--could ever transform the US into an ethno-nationalist state, and obviously I find that abhorrent.

So, do I support Poland or Israel or South Korea as ethno-nationalist states? Yes! Do I support the US being one? No. This is not a contradiction, because I don't think there is any "categorical imperative" demanding one or the other. If the Poles want Poland to be Polish, that's fine with me. If the US wants to be the country organized on the principle that "all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," that's great too. If "diversity is strength," as we are told endlessly as if we are in the novel 1984, then why can't countries be diverse between themselves, rather than being globally homogeneous but internally so "diverse" that it leads to global chaos? (Also, remember, the pushers of diversity only want to destroy the English-speaking and European countries. They never urge China or Singapore or Saudi Arabia to allow in huge numbers of Syrian migrants).

In the other thread, Doug mentions Rothbard's change of mind on the idea of "open borders" being consistent with libertarianism. I think Hoppe has refined Rothbard's work in this area in a really good couple of essays in his book "Democracy, the God that Failed," which I highly recommend.

The Rise and Decline of the State of Israel

Luke Setzer's picture

I am surprised Brook did not hawk this lecture of his as his standing answer:

https://estore.aynrand.org/p/1...

Has anyone listened to it?

Yaron Brook On Israel

Neil Parille's picture

A caller to the BlogTalkRadio show of 11 February 2017 (“Who is Killing Western Civilisation?”) addressed the subject [Israel and immigration] again.

     Stuart:  “I want to ask you about Israel. ... [mentions a few people] just want a white homeland that keeps out non-whites, and then they say, [mocking] well that’s just like Israel. They say, [mocking] well Israel is ... an ethnostate and they make it very difficult for gentiles to immigrate to there. ...”

     Yaron Brook:  “[Dismissive and weary] Yeah, I mean [over-talking] 
Stuart I’m gonna punt on the question not because I don’t want to 
answer it, because I do, but because it requires a lengthy explanation 
of why Israel indeed is a unique country and why it’s different than 
any other country on the planet, that I know of, and why it is 
ethnocentric in a significant way and why we could somehow justify that. At least in the world we live in today. But that would require a whole thing. So I’m still gonna do a show on Israel and cover that point, but I just don’t want to do it right now, uh, all right?”

The docile Stuart changes the subject.

This has to be at least the third time Brook has said he will get around to discussing why Israel is the one and only exception to Brook's prescription for Dhimmitude for the western world.

 

Luke

Neil Parille's picture

It was nice of Mr. Brown to answer you but I think he should respond in writing. For example does he agree with Brook that objectivist opponents of immigration are racist ?

Just Posted Yesterday by Yaron Brook

Luke Setzer's picture

Will Trump’s immigration ban protect us from Islamic totalitarianism? Is it based on facts or on irrational fears? Should we vet immigrants? In this episode of The Yaron Brook Show, Brook offers an objective analysis of Trump's executive order on immigration.

https://ari.aynrand.org/blog/2...

This runs 90 minutes, and I have not yet taken the time to listen, so if someone cares to post an executive summary, that would be great.

I really wish these people could be much briefer.

Luke

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I hope you do pursue it, but don't be a push-over. They're getting a lot of resistance to their Obleftivism right now and are fighting a rearguard PR battle. Of course they're going to be nice to you. Don't be easily seduced. Smiling

I'd suggest you offer to resume your donations if they:

1) Ditch the mercenary mole Brook and drain the swamp of all other Obleftivists like Ghate;

2) Ditch support for open borders;

3) Ditch Obleftivism and undertake to Make Objectivism Objectivism Again.

Nice Handwritten Response Card from ARI CEO Jim Brown

Luke Setzer's picture

Content follows.
----------------------
Dear Luke,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter. I assure you, ARI is not beholden to "corporate globalists." If you would like to discuss our position on immigration, please call me any time. We appreciate your past support, and we hope we can earn it again in the future.

Sincerely,

Jim Brown
----------------------
I am not sure if I will pursue a dialogue, but at least they did not dismiss me completely.

Good Point

Neil Parille's picture

Assuming for a moment that Somalians, Afghanis, etc. can be Americanized (a very, very dubious proposition in the first place for numerous reasons), they would need an existing muslim-American community to help civilize them like the existing Jewish community did with Eastern European Jews. But what they get is CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood organs who not only don't help to Americanize them, but only further radicalize them.

Why Immigration - Seen and Unseen

edpowell's picture

On Neil's two comments:

1) That's Bastiat's "Seen and Unseen". Obviously you only see immigrants with jobs. Why would you ever see any others? Brimelow estimates (when his book was written in 1992) that close to half (or even more than half) of immigrants coming at that time through family reunification, refugee, or asylum not only don't work but in many cases CAN'T work because they are parents of previous immigrants, or in some other way are unemployable.

2) I don't want to start a tremendous controversy on this, but I do want to recommend people read Thomas Sowell's two books on this, "Ethnic America" and "Black Rednecks and White Liberals". Here's my summary of Sowell's explanation of the reaction to the Irish and Eastern European Jews when they first came here: They were shunned by Americans because they truly were horrible uncivilized people. The Irish weren't fully assimilated until WWII. The existing Jewish community (mostly from Germany and England) took it upon themselves to civilize their Eastern European co-religionists, and started schools, taught them how to hold jobs, gave them jobs, and really held their feet to the fire.

Assuming for a moment that Somalians, Afghanis, etc. can be Americanized (a very, very dubious proposition in the first place for numerous reasons), they would need an existing muslim-American community to help civilize them like the existing Jewish community did with Eastern European Jews. But what they get is CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood organs who not only don't help to Americanize them, but only further radicalize them.

Why Immigration

Neil Parille's picture

Ed -

I hear a couple arguments constantly:

1. "All the immigrants I know are hard working." But we tend to associate with people like ourselves.

2. "A hundred years ago people said the Irish, Jews, etc. couldn't assimilate." Actually I don't know how common this argument was, but assume it's true. That doesn't mean that Syrians, Afghanis, etc. can assimilate.

But why

edpowell's picture

Ann Coulter writes in her book about Trump:

A hedge fund executive quoted in The Atlantic a few years ago said, “If the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile [that] means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade.”

She was speaking about globalism, but the idea applies to immigration too. It's a radical egalitarianism reminiscent of Rawls. You would think Objectivists would be immune to it, but nope.

But Why Do "Opinion Leaders" Support "Open Borders"?

Luke Setzer's picture

Why do "opinion leaders" like ARI, Koch, etc. support "open borders" when they have to know better?

But why?

edpowell's picture

I think the answer to this question is different depending on the person. I think in the case of immigrants themselves, they personalize the issue. We have no real idea how much bullshit any given individual had to go through to get into the US, either as a student or a worker. I'm sure, given that it's the government, the level of red tape is maximized and the level of actual sensible screening is minimized. So from the immigrant's perspective, it's all "I know I'm not a threat. Why should I have to go through all this nonsense? I want to go to school (or get a job) and the school (or business) wants me, so why can't I just go?" This feeling is understandable from the standpoint of individual immigrants, though not from people who claim to be philosophers, who are supposed to be trained to think on more universal scale.

Secondly there are people who are married to immigrants or whose parents are immigrants, and they think, "hell, if immigration is made any more difficult, I (or my husband) might have to live in Bumfuckistan."

Finally there are the followers. "Yaron Brook (or Harry Binswanger) says our borders should be open, and with open borders would benefit the country, therefore I believe in open borders." These people are the "partisans" in that they root for their team, no matter what their team says. Generally, if for some personal or accidental deviation from the orthodoxy, a person is rejected by their team and kicked off of the cool kids' lunch table--miracle of miracles--all their views on controversial topics reverse almost instantly.

So the first two groups drop the context, the third group wasn't interested in ideas in the first place, just to be among the cool kids.

But Why?

Luke Setzer's picture

Sam, exactly WHY do they believe that? Faith? Superstition? Stupidity? Tradition? Whim?

Can they not see the problem of admitting people who adhere to criminal belief systems?

Having open borders between friendly, similar nations is fine.

Otherwise, "good fences make good neighbors."

Chaps

Sam Pierson's picture

The open borders argument has been around a long time. Keep it simple. It's just what they believe & think is a high up the priority list, commanding emphasis.

Koch Resettlement Contracts?

Luke Setzer's picture

I am trying to find anything supporting my speculation that Koch Industries has contracts for refugee resettlement programs, but the closest I could find was sketchy:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/po...

Has anyone researched this?

I am still trying to understand why they would support an insane policy of long-term destruction, unless they genuinely believe it is not insane or destructive for reasons that elude me.

See also:

https://refugeeresettlementwat...

Their motives may be simply "cheap labor," but that still seems insufficient motive.

How Does Koch Industries Profit from American Muslims?

Luke Setzer's picture

Can someone please explain how Koch Industries profits from Muslims entering the United States?

EDIT:

Wait! I think I have an answer!

By creating global turmoil, as part of the military-industrial complex, Koch Industries engages in war profiteering.

Yes?

No?

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