OCON Boston Now FREE For Students

Ayn Rand Center's picture
Submitted by Ayn Rand Center on Fri, 2006-10-20 22:01

OCON Boston event is now FREE for students!

The Jihad Against the West: The Real Threat and the Right Response

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum
Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute

Flemming Rose, culture editor of Jyllands-Posten
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch
Peter Schwartz, author of The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America
John Lewis, assistant professor of history, Ashland University

A three-day conference event
Including a lecture by Yaron Brook at the Ford Hall Forum
Boston, Massachusetts
October 20-22, 2006

This event is now FREE for students.

Objectivist Conferences is proud to invite you to this important weekend event.

As the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 is observed this week, we see our leaders, intellectuals and TV commentators ignoring or denying the meaning of this world-changing atrocity. Instead of identifying and dealing with the deadly threat, our leaders are engaged in shifting blame, pressure-group politics, and deliberations over which cosmetics are permitted to airline passengers. Meanwhile, Islamicist fanatics recruit ever-more followers sworn to our destruction; American soldiers continue to die as Islamic totalitarianism increases its power in Iraq; and the world's premier terror-sponsoring regime works unhindered to acquire nuclear weapons. Amid the noise and confusion, the need for a clear, focused and principled response is more urgent than ever.

Those who attend this conference will find an array of prominent speakers and experts who have refused to submit to intimidation, and whose voices are at the forefront of the pivotal ideological battle to defend Western civilization against the forces of jihad. Their presentations will expose not only the implacable barbarity of Islamic totalitarianism-but also the corrupt, evasive appeasement that continues to enable the rise of jihadist ideology.  Join us in this call to action on the most important geopolitical issue of our time.

Students: There is NO admission cost for the panel discussion or for any of the lectures held at the Boston World Trade Center. Free admission to Yaron Brook's Oct. 22 lecture is available through the Ford Hall Forum only.

Events will take place at Tufts University, Boston's World Trade Center and Faneuil Hall, concluding with a lecture by Yaron Brook at the Ford Hall Forum.

Copyright © 2006 Second Renaissance, Inc. All rights reserved. Objectivist Conferences (OCON) and Second Renaissance, Inc., are operated by the Ayn Rand® Institute. Second Renaissance, Inc., and the Ayn Rand Institute do not necessarily endorse the content of the lectures and courses offered. Payments made to Objectivist Conferences or Second Renaissance, Inc., do not qualify as tax-deductible contributions to the Ayn Rand Institute unless otherwise noted.

( categories: )

Objectivist Larouchies

Mike_M's picture

Too funny.

- Mike


DianaHsieh's picture

Regarding the sign, Yaron dismissed the LaRoucher (with all proper disgust) as he approached, so it never got around his neck.

-- Diana Hsieh


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I don't know why you couldn't edit your post, but I've done it for you, laughing my ass off all the while at your mixing Schwartz up with Binswanger, given that I always refer to them in tandem as two folk who give Objectivists a bad name by being jerks. I confess when you mentioned privately that Binswanger gave a stand-out lecture I was puzzled, since HB is a competent lecturer but way too robotic ever to be inspiring. Now your comment makes sense. Schwartz is a real KASS lecturer. Anyway, thanks so much for these eyewitness reports.


Bob—Congrats on your integrity in moving where the argument took you. Do make a habit of it—it'll get you in the most delightful trouble. Smiling

I didn't see what the sign

Bob Palin's picture

I didn't see what the sign said either. The brainwashed knucklehead from the LaRouche Youth Movement had already placed the sign around Brook's neck before I even noticed something was happening.

The LYM attempted to disrupt the con throughout the entire weekend. Fortunately, they limited those disruptions at the World Trade Center to the Q&A sessions when they would make rambling and inane statements and ask ridiculous questions in an attempt to somehow connect Brook to Lynn Cheney, George Shultz and others. They provided some comic relief but mostly just wasted our time.

Brook, to his credit, took it all good naturedly and in stride. At one point, Brook turned the microphone off and then took it away from one LYMer (to much applause from the audience) who was going on and on without actually asking a question. At the end of the panel discussion Q&A on Saturday, Brook said we had time for one more question. As soon as the LYMer said the name George Schultz, Brook thanked everyone for attending, to which the crowd broke into applause and laughter.

On Sunday night, during the Q&A, after another interuption by a group of LYMers who had broken into song and then were removed from the hall, Brook commented that they had good voices. One LYMer actually asked a good question, which Brook acknowledged. She asked how he could talk about morality while stating that he doesn't believe in God. Brook answered her question completely but then she started to whine from the back of the room that he hadn't.


JulianD's picture

Ouch....see what I mean by it being difficult to provide an accurate summary. Thanks for the correction Diana. If I could edit the post I would.


PS not HB

DianaHsieh's picture


That was Peter Schwartz's lecture. Harry Binswanger wasn't even present. Smiling

-- Diana Hsieh

Some final comments

JulianD's picture

I hope my comments have been interesting to those who were unable to attend. I had to rely on my memory but there was so much information and so many speakers that it has been hard to provide an accurate summary.

Luke: I didn't see what the sign said. It all happened so quickly. Everyone was seated politely and it took everyone by surprise. I was 2 meters away from where this idiot was sitting and he walked in front of me as he walked onto the stage. I could have stopped him easily but I didn't think he was a protester. I sat there quite surprised.

It was a pleasure to meet Bob Palin (btw, Bob, how did the FHF Q and A session finish? I had to leave half way through) and I agree with him that a very convincing argument for war against Iran was presented. I don't think that the lecturers were against Bush's war on terrorism per se but were against the pragmatic strategy that had been adopted by Bush ie Iraq. They were more supportive of a war against Iran as an Islamic Iran posed (and poses) a greater threat to the USA than Iraq. Peter Schwartz in his lecture indicated this when he considered that Iraq was probably number 8 on the list of countries that should have been attacked. Iran was however number 1.

Speaking of Peter Schwartz's lecture, I thought it was truly outstanding. I would urge you to get a tape of the lecture. He showed how the application of self-defence principles is more practical than the pragmatic approach employed by the Bush administration. He illustrated how the police would respond to citizens planning to infringe on the liberties of other citizens and applied this clearly to the Islamic threat faced by the civilised world. The Q and A session was very interesting and at one point he asked himself the question - What should we do in Iraq? - as no-one had asked it. Then he attempted to answer the question.

I understand that the Panel Discussion which took place on the Saturday afternoon will be on the ARI website at some time (I heard that from someone there) so keep a look out there.

I spoke with one attendee (who was musically trained) who heard the singing by LaRouche group. She was sure that they were professionally trained singers - they were very good.

Very well organised conference, great speakers, with a benevolent and friendly atmosphere among the Objectivist attendees.

That's all from me.

Julian Darby

Draping a Sign on Yaron’s Neck

Luke Setzer's picture

Julian, I appreciate your detailed and informative posts on this conference.  This passage puzzled me:

...one member entered the stage draping a sign on Yaron’s neck...

Someone actually had the gall to do this?  I am amazed Yaron did not demonstrate a bit of Israeli martial arts on the assailant's head!  What did the sign say?

I attended this past

Bob Palin's picture

I attended this past weekend's OCON in Boston and I am delighted that I did. Yaron Brook and company have rationally persuaded me to reassess my position on the current need for war. If you're interested in what I've previously said, you can read it here: http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/GeneralForum/0886_2.shtml#45

I am still against Bush's War on Terrorism, as were the speakers at this weekend's con. I believe it was Daniel Pipes who compared it to as if Franklin Roosevelt had declared a War on Surprise Attacks after the Pearl Harbor attack of WWII.

What was made clear to me was the real threat: Islamic totalitarianism. I believe Robert Spencer pointed out that even though Muslims in the US represent only one per cent of the population, twenty to forty per cent of those support Islamic totalitarianism in some fashion.

They want the total merger of Islam and state, are willing to die for this, and welcome Armageddon in this cause. The only thing that will stop them is to completely demoralize them in their cause and to demand unconditional surrender from them. The principle target in this war should be Iran, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism for the purpose of establishing a world Islamic state.

John Lewis laid out the US's defeat of Japan in WWII as the model for successfully fighting this war. And he explained how it can be won quickly by air strikes, without the loss of a single American soldier's life.

I'll leave it to others to debate this issue here and elsewhere, as I have other priorities in my life right now. I am happy to say that ARI won at least one convert to its war strategy. Alas, don't hold your breath for Bush & Co. to implement it.

A special treat for me this weekend was hearing Flemming Rose speak on the events preceding and following the publication of the Muhammad cartoons. I spoke to him privately afterwards and applauded his moral integrity and rationality in this matter. And he very graciously and sincerely thanked me for my support.

I also had the pleasure of speaking briefly with Julian Darby. His Kiwi accent made him easy to find. Julian has done an excellent job of reporting on the weekend's events.


Lanza Morio's picture

Julian, I'm enjoying your posts here. Glad you were able to make it.

Photos from OCON and the FHF

JulianD's picture

At the Friday night presentation by Dr Yaron Brook (seen in the first photo with his back to the camera) at Tufts University, a group of Students unfurled a banner and began singing.

The spectacular and historic venue - Faneuil Hall in Boston - where the Ford Hall Forum was held with Yaron Brook.

Myself (right) with Flemming Rose (left)who presented on the Sunday morning at OCON Boston. Flemming was the courageous cultural editor of the newspaper in Denmark which commissioned the Mohammad cartoons. Ayn Rand has influenced him greatly since he was introduced to Rand's work after a trip to the USA a number of years ago. A truely courageous individual and a warrior for free speech.

The Boston World Trade Center whether the OCON Boston took place.

A Modest Proposal

Michael Moeller's picture

While pondering the pinhead protesters, it occurred to me that there could be a great opportunity here for the OLer's to join efforts, which I believe was mentioned earlier. OL could go from Objectivist Living to Objectivist LaRouchies. This isn't a big leap--they are the "tolerant" bunch, afterall, and they have a common enemy. Considering imbeciles like MSK try to integrate just about any piece of nonsense they imagine into Objectivism--they should have no trouble integrating the LaRouchies. Hell, they are off to a good start with the repeated "Nazi" and "genocide" calls.

And if we're really lucky, Barbara will serve as an ambassador and write a biography of Lyndon LaRouche. If the LaRouchies are scared of the damage from bombs, just wait to they meet Barbara--they'll see just how much damage a Meat Axe can do.

On a serious note, do these people usually show up at ARI events? I've only attended 2 speeches, both at Ford Hall Forum (Brook's and LP's). The protesters seem to have grown in number since the last talk I went to and I was wondering if they have to deal with this continually? Or is it just a Boston thing?


Thanks Julian.

Peter Cresswell's picture

Thanks for your updates, Julian. They've been very informative about what seems to have been a great event.

Cheers, Peter Cresswell

* * * *

**Setting Brushfires In People's Minds**

**Integrating Architecture With Your Site**

Ford Hall Forum - Yaron Brook

JulianD's picture

Yaron Brook spoke at the Ford Hall Forum on Sunday night. This year the location was the spectacular Faneuil Hall in Boston. See photos. The evening began with the moderator from the Ford Hall Forum outlining the history of the Forum and noting that it is the longest running lecture series in the US (they are approaching 100 years). She also highlighted the importance of free speech and that the forum would never deviate from this principal to which she received a round of applause. I say this because unfortunately this year’s Ford Hall Forum lecture by Dr Brook was interrupted numerous times by members of Larouche. I do not wish to dwell on these zombies for long for the night belonged to Dr Brook and his excellent lecture, but it is necessary to make it known that one member entered the stage draping a sign on Yaron’s neck, members of the group standing during his speech and singing, a degree of (low level) violence as the police attempted to remove these disrupters from the venue, more disruption from members of this group during the lecture, and questions directed to Yaron during the Q and A which were revolting and completely out of order in an intellectual debate.

The theme of Yaron’s talk was Why the “Forward Strategy of Freedom” Had to Fail. He identified the philosophy which permeates the State Department - the moral code of altruism. ie. Improving the standard of living for Iraqis is seen as important while policymakers reject strategies based on rational self interest, policies which would defend the citizens of the US from Islamic Totalitarianism. One thing which was very clear was the Yaron did NOT advocate dropping a nuclear bomb on these Islamic Totalitarian countries (although it is always an option I guess); conventional bombing could result in the objective being achieved since they are relatively primitive countries. I shall not attempt to summaries his lecture for I could not do it justice and I believe an audio of the lecture will be available for purchase later. Yaron received a standing ovation.

Last night I believe the Ford Hall Forum proved why it is and will continue to be an important institution. For those who value Free Speech I would encourage you to write to the Ford Hall Forum, thanking them for their support of Free Speech, for having provided last night a Forum for advocates of reason despite the attempts of others to prevent those ideas being heard.

I dragged myself away 30 minutes into the Q and A as I had to catch an international flight so if anyone else was present they may like to add to my comments.

Julian Darby

Julian mentioned that they

Mike_M's picture

Julian mentioned that they sang a song about Brook being a Nazi. I thought that was odd, but maybe it's not so odd for the LaRouchies. Take a look.

- Mike


Fred Weiss's picture

This one was funny, that they got "confessions of Brook's role in Lynne Cheney's apparatus." Smiling

Btw, notice how they thoroughly and repeatedly distorted what Yaron was saying. Shades of Barbara and her "impeccable source".

larouche again

Mike_M's picture

Here is another. I don't understand the obsession with Lynn Cheney or George Schultz. I also didn't know that LaRouche is still around.

- Mike

religion - Shinto and Islam

Chris Cathcart's picture

The measures that the U.S. took in Japan to squelch the influence of Shinto in official Japan policy is one that the U.S. needs to take in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. But it's not politically correct. The U.S. would be seen as too imperialistic or something to defend its interests like this. Afghanistan has still managed to be re-formed as an Islamic republic. Iraq is being re-formed as such. Apparently, the idea of separation of church and state -- when it's Islam -- is politically incorrect.

And the American people should not be putting up with GWB's inclarity about his intentions on this issue. He's a devout Christian himself who has made public hints at times that we're up against "Islamic fascists." He says he wants the U.S. to be instrumental in establishing a Western-style democracy, and yet without the necessary church-state separation. Still later, he's praising Islam as a religion of peace. He's probably in agreement with various theologians that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God" (which would mean that Christians and Muslims both recognize the divinity of Jesus, yes?). So where does that leave us -- in which direction are we headed -- with foreign policy as it relates to Islam and its grip on state power in the Middle East? And how does GWB expect the threat of state-sponsored terrorism to go away with this church-state union intact? Why is a devout Christian so intent on helping build Islamic states?

Thank you for the link, Mike.

mcohen's picture

Yaron Brook's talk at Tufts on Friday was "Israel and the War on Islamic Totalitarianism." To call him a Nazi in this context was beyond the pale.

John Lewis Lecture

JulianD's picture

This morning I attended the lecture by John Lewis. This was a very good lecture and provided moral clarity to what seems a complex issue. These are my recollections.

He began by assessing the differences in response by the US administration to the attacks on the USA by the Japanese in WW2, and the approach taken following the September 11 attacks.

In the former case, there was an unrestrained response, which culminated in the A bombs. There was no warning, no threats, just a stated recognition that the blame for any suffering lay not at the feet of the USA. The goal was to bring the enemy to its knees and the USA was forthright and did not attempt to hide the truth in what it was trying to achieve (see telegram below). And the Japanese empire fell and now Japan is a peaceful prosperous nation.

The attacks of September 11 have been met with restrained responses which have been considered moral and practical. The results are a complete contrast to the success of the war against Japan. The USA has been shown to be weak which gives the enemy hope. They have not broken the link between Islam and the state (refer to Iraq).

Dr Lewis distributed a copy of a telegram from the State Department to to the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Japan whcih stated "Shintoism, insofar as it is a religion of individual Japanese is not to be interfered with. Shintoism, however, insofar as it is directed by the Japanese government, and is a measure enforced from the government is to be done away with. ....The Japanese government will be required to cease financial and other support of Shinto establishments".

Dr Lewis then asked us to substitute Iran for Japan and Islam for Shintoism. Iran is a country which is actively seeking to destroy Israel and the USA and is seeking to obtain nuclear weapons. They support terrorist organisations and this regime must be eliminated. And not one American soldier needs to set foot in Iran.

We must not seek legitimacy for action outside of our right to self defence. We must break the political power of Islam, the clerics must be stripped of power. Once Iran is dealt with the message is clear to all other regimes that Islamic States will not be permitted. And most importantly, state clearly what you are going to achieve. Be forthright and don't hide the truth of what you are doing.

This was an outstanding lecture.


LaRouchers and Brandroids?

Mike_M's picture

Apparently the people with Nazi banners were from the LaRouche Youth Movement. So the Brandroids are in good company, Fred!

- Mike

Nice Julian...

Robert's picture

... I shall definitely try and catch Yaron if he comes to the Mid West.

Now more importantly, did you try the Lobster's or the Clam Chowder served in a hollowed out loaf of bread while you were in Boston? And don't give me that "I'm a Vegetarian drivel." Smiling

A lobster has the intelligence of a potted plant so you've got no excuse!

Have a great time in Boston and London. And thanks for the late-night write-up! Eye


Yes, thanks Julian.

Fred Weiss's picture

Yes, thanks Julian.

Did you happen to notice if any of the OLLies were there helping the demonstrators unfurl their banners accusing Yaron of being a Nazi? Smiling

Thanks ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... for the report, Julian. How fortuitous that you were there, able to attest that Yaron Brook doesn't have rabies at precisely the time the smear merchants are intensifying their campaign against anyone with KASS. I hope you can get to the Ford Hall Forum.


Abbreviated account of Q and A session.

JulianD's picture

I arrived for the Q and A section of the lecture by Yaron which proved fascinating. I will preface this by saying that Yaron is an extremely impressive speaker and debater. The future for the ARI looks very bright. There were many students in attendence, I would say 50% were antagonistic to Objectivism (and Yaron) and 50% supportive. The immoral premises (by our standards) of many of those attending was clearly obvious by the tone and nature of the questions which I shall not repeat since we have all come across these types before. But the sneering hate and anger was very clear. The campus police were required on occasions to remove hecklers and interjecters.

My comments below are my recollections only and should not be taken as a true and accurate account of his viewpoint.

Themes in the Q and A session:

We are in a war with Islamic Totalitarianism and we must win. They want to kill us and destroy the freedoms we have. It is the right of every person and country to act in self-defence and this includes killing someone who threatens you before they have they chance to kill you. Islamic totalitarianism has threatened western civilization with destruction and it is morally right that we defend ourselves.

We should destroy these threats and then bring every one of our troops home. Don’t worry about trying to install freedom in their countries. Let them sort it out themselves. Let them discover freedom. It is not our job.

There have been and there will be innocent deaths. The USA was not responsible for 1 drop of blood from the deaths that resulted from the Hiroshima bomb. Likewise if innocent people die in this latest war, then the blood will be on the hands of those who initiated the war – not the USA.

Those honest (good) people in these evil countries should get out or work underground to bring the regime down just like in Nazi Germany. And they will cheer as the US bombs land in Iran even though they know that they might be killed.

The battle between Israel and the Palestinians is crucial. There are only 2 solutions possible. The Palestinians win or Israel wins. If the Palestinians win then it will be the first time a Western country has been defeated by such an Islamic group. They will be emboldened, and the result will be that they will win and western civilization will eventually cease to exist. If Israel wins, then Western civilization will be saved. There is no middle ground. Peace agreements will fail as they have in the past. These are the only 2 outcomes and this is why it is so important that Israel defeat the Palestinians.

Yaron on the United Nations: The UN is an evil organization which should never have existed. It was set up with 5 permanent members on the security council, and at that time these members had sitting at the table representatives of regimes which had killed millions of people. It should be shipped off to Venezuela.

Question: The best way to defeat terrorism is by helping them to be self-sufficient. i.e. Farm Aid etc.

Yaron: The questioner says that charity will defeat the Islamic Totalitarianism. This is wrong. Terrorism is not a consequence of poverty. We don’t see the poor people of Africa, Asia or China for example committing terrorist acts. In fact, terrorists are generally middle class and educated. They want to destroy our freedom and impose Sharia law.

Question: Should liberal arts programs be closed down?

The solution is to encourage good teachers and good students (and there are always a few) that are in these programs and they will over time change the intellectual direction of these programs. It is important that they remain for this is where the battle needs to be won. The battle is intellectual.

Yaron: I want to comment on Campus Watch. I don’t read all of what they say but they research the work of academics and point out on their web site the evil views of some academics. Note that they don’t advocate killing these academics, they encourage students to question these academics in their classes and they expose the evil ideas they hold.

Question: You are Israeli and were in charge of the Israeli army.

Yaron: What’s your point? I was a Staff Sergeant.

Question: So if it is so important to win the battle for Israel, why are you not in Israel fighting?

Yaron: I was, but now I can do more lecturing from a platform than I could with a gun. From here I can fight for reason and freedom for Western Civilization including freedom for the USA and Israel.

Final Point: The biggest threat to America is the influence that the religious right has in politics. This must be end.


Followed by demonstrators unfurling a banner pronouncing Yaron et al. Nazis. (I will post the photos tomorrow if possible).

Julian Darby

Any SOLO readers in Boston

JulianD's picture

As I am a kiwi in Boston for the weekend, I was wondering if anyone from here intended to attend the lectures this weekend. Would be nice to meet. You can Solomail me.


What an evening!!!

JulianD's picture

Thanks for posting this Lindsay. I have just arrived home after attending this lecture by Yaron - well the Q and A part anyway. The lecture must have started at 7.30 and the Q and A finished at 9.50. The only people to leave were those that were escorted out by campus police. It was very rowdy with lots of shouting and interjections - great fun. It would not do it justice to summarise the discussion but I must say that I was very impressed with Yaron, his intellect, and his ability to convey ideas. I thought the evening was over with the standing ovation that he received. However a group of students had constructed a banner and a song denouncing Yaron et al. as Nazis etc. (They did sing in harmony however and I did take some photos). All very entertaining. Oh, and Lindsay, I spoke to Yaron at the conclusion and he mentioned that you had exchanged e-mails today. As has been clarified on the your other thread, it was an issue of context.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.