Ominous Parallels on Sargon of Akkad

Submitted by wngreen on Tue, 2017-08-22 02:11

Sargon just posted a video reading straight from Ominous Parallels. Check it out!

The Two Related Movements Are Natural Allies

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Brant has a great insight here: The libertarian movement needs Objectivism to flourish best, and the Objectivist movement needs libertarianism to flourish best.

The libertarians need a sound, strong base -- not pitiful, erroneous altruism and religion. And the Objectivists need to realize most intellectually active and aware people focus hard on politics, and care little for epistemology and ethics. This last doesn't make them bad people or worthless allies. Not even close.


Brant Gaede's picture

Rand advocated a moral revolution with the political its natural derivative--individual rights--but that derivative was the primary libertarian orientation and set up the conflict between libertarianism and Objectivism that she instigated and insisted upon thus driving the libertarians out if they weren't already gone from her philosophy. What the libertarians didn't seem to get was that without a more general philosophy individual rights advocacy would die on their vines for it was essentially anti-intellectual. The contemporary libertarian intellectual peak was represented by John Hosper's 1972 book "Libertarianism." That was also near libertarianism's political peak. Ironically, Objectivism, because of Rand's self-centered attitude, never went anywhere politically. Or, Objectivism needed libertarianism and libertarianism needed Objectivism and both suffered consequently. The basic reason is Rand mixed up her personal philosophy with the Objectivist philosophy. Objectivism is not Nietzschean in any way or form. Rand never completely transcended Nietzche. Nietzche blew off the libertarians.


What Caused the Rise of Fascism and Nazism in the Early 1900s

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Neil writes:

"I don't have a great explanation for the rise of Nazism. It was probably a number of factors."

I think it was essentially just one factor: simple ignorance. Rand's political revolution of the 1960s hadn't taken place yet. Smart and good people in the 1930s pretty much rejected socialism and communism. They knew that gov't ownership of industry and the economy, mixed with general tyranny, wasn't the answer. So they thought that gov't control of industry and the economy, thru a virtuous strongman dictator, was worth a shot. Think of how much American President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45)advocated political "experimentation"! This is because no-one around him seemed to know very much politically. And he was right in that judgment.

About a month ago I read something about how many smart and good people feared and hated Roosevelt, and thought he was driving America right over the cliff and into tyranny. As an alternative many favored "an American Mussolini" and they formed The Liberty League in opposition to him and the New Deal philosophy. But look how politically ignorant it was!

KANT has killed philosophy

Bruno Turner's picture

Every "philosopher" after Kant has been irredeemably stained by his nonsensical philosophy (Rand excluded obviously).

His gravest sin is metaphysical and epistemological, not ethical; even though his ethics were hideous and evil.

Subsequent "philosophers" fully embraced the separation of the phenomenal world vs noumenal world; or rather, more precisely, they dropped the noumena and maintained the irrationalist view of the phenomena, more or less in a revived form of subjectivist Heracliteanism.

At that point, literally anything goes. That's where you get Nietzsche.

The last rationalist-platonist rebellion against this nonsensical view of the phenomenal world comes with Hegel. Marx follows Hegel but with a materialist conception of man. Both make Plato seem like an angel by comparison.

The so called "romantics" are not even worth mentioning by name. Total and utter filth. They are akin to Nietzsche except they're both less intelligent and less charismatic. Where Nietzsche appeals to the strong men, those others appeal to the weak and pathetic.

As for Hitler, his collectivistic totalitarianism had as its standard of value the good of the "germanic" race. For Mussolini the standard of value was The State. For the communists the standard of value was the platonic ideal laid out by Marx.

All three wished to replace laissez-faire capitalism with statism; the communists full state control, the fascist a "third way" compromise, the nazis also but were bent more towards socialism.

What "the" cause of that was, I do not presume to say. I enjoyed Leonard Peikoff's book greatly when I last read it a few years ago but I don't remember it clearly enough to judge it by my context of knowledge today.


Neil Parille's picture

I meant proto Nazi.

But that begs the question of whether Kent's duty ethic is the same as the Nazis'. I don't think it is.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

How could Kant be pro-Nazi when the Nazis weren't around? The point is, he would have loved their "duty" ethic. And the more fundamental point: when you sever the real from the knowable the way Kant did, all the rest will follow inexorably, unless actual humans as opposed to Kantian robots step up and exercise their free will.

The Ominous Parallels

Neil Parille's picture

Peikoff presents no evidence that Kant was a pro Nazi or that the Nazis had a high regard for Kant.

I don't have a great explanation for the rise of Nazism. It was probably a number of factors.


Neil Parille's picture

In fairness to Peikoff, I don't believe it was widely known at the time that Ruashning's book was suspect. Someone I know told me that when he first read OP that the Ruashning quotes sounded "to good to be true." I didn't have the feeling at the time but in retrospect it seems true, eg, "the age of reason is over."

The Rise of the Fascist State

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay and Neil -- Thanks for that! I read Peikoff's book Ominous Parallels over 30 years ago. I remember it being surprisingly smoothly written and rather scholarly. I found it superior is some respects to Ayn Rand's somewhat herky-jerky style and light, eclectic scholarship. But...

That was a long time ago, and I should probably reread it. The basic idea of the book seems to be that America and the West are heading in a fascist direction -- not a socialist one. As I read it, this means: gov't control of the economy, not communist-style gov't ownership of the economy. That certainly seems to be true today. Big Brother coercively and semi-coercively "guides" and "helps" us pretty much everywhere in our economy, society, and personal lives.


Neil Parille's picture

It's not just Raushning, although the consencus of historians is that the book is unreliable. This is the conclusion of the two most recent Hitler biographers, Kershaw and Ullrich.

It's been a while since I checked some of the footnotes so I don't recall all the problems.

But for example he quotes Goering's famous statement that "if the Fuhrer says so, 2 plus 2 is 5," which was a joke.

He misquotes Arendt - she didn't say Eichman considered himself a Kantian in engineering the final solution.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I should imagine Neil is alluding to Peikoff's liberal use of quotes from Rauschning, who claimed to have had numerous conversations with Hitler. The authenticity of that claim—and thus of the quotations—has been disputed, though not decisively. Many reputable historians cited Rauschning, who, while temporarily a Nazi, abandoned Nazism as anti-Christian. In any event, the genius of Ominous Parallels is not reliant on Rauschning. The penultimate chapter, Convulsion and Paralysis, which is Rauschning-free, is masterful in its prescience, in a way that neither Brandroids nor Randroids would begin to get. See contemporary pomowankery. It's just such a shame OrgOism hasn't a clue about things cultural, treats the free market as "self-selecting for virtue" and thinks the #1 current antipode of reason and freedom—Islam—is no big deal. More than a shame; it's a betrayal by those involved—chiefly Yawon Bwook. Stay tuned for Bruno's interview with me.

Endnotes to 'Ominous Parallels'?

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Neil -- You post many good links, which I appreciate! Smiling But you can be a bit over-brief and obscure. I don't understand what you mean by saying Lindsay needs to check the endnotes of Ominous Parallels three comments above.

David Gordon's Review of The Ominous Parallels

Neil Parille's picture

a parallel book

J Cuttance's picture

Peikoff's Ominous Parallels came up in a critical review of Stephen Hicks' excellent Explaining Postmodernism, which I've just read.

The review was by Mises Review editor David Gordon.

Gordon describes getting scorched by counter critiques of his Parallels review.

"I did not hear the end of it for years afterwards; an ex cathedra dismissal of my objections from a writer for whom the letter to the editor is an art form remains vivid in my mind."

Both Hicks' book and the review can be seen here: - Hicks apparently fine with referring to critical accounts of his work.

Like a lot of Miseans, Gordon objected to Hicks displaying "an extreme hostility to religion, and this often biases his historical claims."

This view, common among Misean scholars, sits awkwardly because neither Mises nor Rothbard were believers.

I would counter that a God-fearing scholar is more likely to bias historical claims.

Ominous Paralles

Neil Parille's picture


"Leonard Peikoff's Ominous Parallels is among the crowning achievements of Objectivism—and, for that matter, of Western Civilisation"

I guess you never checked the endnotes.

Peikoff and Brook

Neil Parille's picture

Leonard has pretty much retired. I imagine that he thinks Brook is doing a good job at fund raising.

Profa and Hitler

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Illuminating how many posters on that site didn't get that Sargon was drawing attention to the similarities between Hitler and Antifa. And how many of those who did were furious!

Leonard Peikoff's Ominous Parallels is among the crowning achievements of Objectivism—and, for that matter, of Western Civilisation. One can only wonder why its author remains silent as OrgOism is hijacked by vicious, evil Islamo-Marxist, tacitly pro-Hillary/Obama Obleftivist traitors like Bwook.


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