Linz Bows Out Of TOC Summer Seminar

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-02-15 23:26

I have just now sent the following note to Ed Hudgins and Will Thomas, after receiving e-mails from them complaining that I had insulted TOC in my recent post here, quoted below at the end of my note.

Linz

_______________________________

Will & Ed—thanks for your notes.

It seems to me you're not confronting the content of what you, Will, call my
"insulting screed." I know full well TOC's policy on PARC and books like it,
but that doesn't explain the Bidinotto double-standard, which included
denouncing PARC's author as a "parasite" without even reading it. Neither,
for that matter, does it explain Kelley's apparent double-standard in
calling for debate at the time of PAR but observing the official silence in
the wake of PARC.

You must be aware that BB has publicly endorsed the smearing of me as an
alcoholic, with about as much evidence as apparently she had for calling
Frank one. She has displayed not one shred of remorse about this. As a
matter of courtesy I would expect to have been informed—on a "just so you
know" basis—when you extended your invitation to me, that she was likely
to be attending also. I don't presume to dictate whom you may or may not
invite, but I do expect basic consideration—"civility" if you will—in
the way I'm treated. (This is all so reminiscent of the "NZ wins the gold
medal for freedom award" debacle, re-perpetrated shortly after my
appointment to the TOC staff with no heads-up to me, notwithstanding our
shrieks from NZ the previous times that monstrosity had been touted.) That
said, it's amazing to me that you can arrive at your current favourable
moral evaluation of the Brandens—expressed by you, Will—while
steadfastly refusing as a matter of policy to address the most recent
evidence relevant to their moral character, that contained in PARC (which
evidence, I might add, has turned several people around on this matter, me
included)!!

Will—you ask: Do I still wish to appear at the SS? No. I'm deeply
unimpressed by TOC's current behaviour, & shall not pretend otherwise. TOC
has effectively announced to the world that the Brandens are still OK by it,
new evidence be damned. Ayn Rand apparently doesn't get a look in,
notwithstanding that the implications of the new material go way beyond the
merely "private." That doesn't impress me one bit. Nor does the thought that
I might have been invited just as a "Linz AND the Brandens! Wow! Best show
in town! Can't miss this!" bums-on-seats drawcard. I entertain this
suspicion precisely because you didn't tell me BB was being invited, even
though you must have known that would influence my decision. The last straw
was hearing that the incomparably odious MSK, whose attacks on Ayn Rand on
Nathaniel's and his own sites are now naked, was going to be attending.
Will, I appreciate very much your compliments on the quality of my company
and my presentations, but I don't care for situations where I have to
side-step slime. Instead, I shall be speaking at James Valliant's
book-signing just down the road.

I regret I shall miss the company of the many fine people who will also be
attending the SS, the folk who are not moral lobotomees. I was really
looking forward to uproarious times in the common room every night, just
like old times. Hopefully these actual and default-SOLOists will see fit to
attend the book-signing, and we shall have uproarious times after that,
savouring & celebrating "the total passion for the total height"—the
"total height" including that superlative value who, whatever her flaws,
does not deserve the obscenity of treacherous toxic toads purporting to
speak for her philosophy.

Linz

______________________________________

> I myself would have insisted until right now that TOC is NOT "only about the
> Brandens." I have vigorously resisted the view that The Objectivist Centre is
> "The Branden Centre." But then, in the wake of PARC—which, in the absence of
> any response other than that of cornered rats from the Brandens and their
> sycophants, shows the Brandens' bios to be unconscionable—TOC invites BOTH of
> them to speak—and maintains a resolute, militant silence about PARC and its
> reasons for inviting them notwithstanding the disgusting light in which it
> shows them. One of its luminaries, Bidinotto, communicates here via a proxy to
> put forward the view that "biography" was a legitimate subject of conversation
> and debate while it suited the Brandens' agenda but ceased to be legitimate
> when it didn't—i.e. when the Brandens' agenda got challenged. It invites ME to
> speak also, knowing that I have been smeared by one Branden but having nothing
> to say to me about the fact that it expects me nonetheless to expose myself to
> pariah status with scores of Branden brown-nosers running around.
>
> Having Linz AND the Brandens all there together would no doubt be great for
> "bums on seats"—which, as we all know, TOC desperately needs. But if that's
> all it's about—and TOC's silence tells me that it is—then I serve notice that
> I ain't gonna be used in that way. The ball is in TOC's court to say
> SOMETHING!! Ed Hudgins, show some LEADERSHIP!!
>
> Way more important than that remains the demonstrated, deceitful diminution by
> the Brandens of the person to whom TOC luminaries owe their jobs and to whom
> all of western civilisation owes a debt of gratitude—Ayn Rand herself. This is
> the main issue that TOC is currently evading, and this evasion has gone on for
> so long now that I hereby accuse TOC of proceeding in bad faith.
>
> Linz


( categories: )

Kenny ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You betcha BB has read PARC in some detail. When it first came out & we were still friends, it seemed to me she was fretting about it way too much. When I finally read it myself, I understood why. At the time I couldn't see how it couldn't be anything other than raking over old coals with nothing useful or constructive to add. I told her to forget about it & get on with her SOLO projects.

Jim can speak for himself about a "debate." I doubt that BB would agree, or even that she'll address PARC at TOC. But she should. It's never too late. If she could come out of self-justification mode .... What I've been waiting/hoping for all along from that camp is a sign of good faith.

Linz

Thank you

sjw's picture

No, thank you Linz for bringing this crucial point to my attention.

Barbara Branden comments on PARC!!

Kenny's picture

Linz , Barbara is not oblivious to the contents of PARC. This is the important section from MSK's Branden section on the Objective Living site.

http://wheelerdesignworks.netf...

It is very revealing. She says

"I wish with all my heart that her journal entries in the Valliant book had never been published. I shudder at the thought of what an objective (probably not Objectivist) psychologist who approached them cold would make of them. They are both tragic and twisted; they show Rand at her best and her worst -- her best in her desperate determination to understand, her worst in what they reveal about her own psychology, her profound repression, and her manner of dealing with and attempting to understand people. And it is the worst that is predominant in these entries."

BB appears to have read PARC in some detail. I would like to know whether Will, Ed and Bob agree with her.

Presumably she will wish to refute Valliant's claims at TOC. How about Jim inviting her to debate him at the signing session?

Linz, I also note that Will

Kenny's picture

Linz, I also note that Will Thomas and Gary Hull make a similar plea for "integrity" in their messages. Coincidence?

James H-N ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Linz, Now I see why you did bow out. What a crock! They invite you and both Brandens, have Barbara speak on Objectivism and Rage and then expect you not to have any negative comment. I think they're probably totally oblivious to the contents of PARC. Your site has always been here for me to come and defend TOC. If they had an issue with what you said on this website, they could have come to this website and hashed it out.

Precisely. These guys can come to SOLOPassion any time & put TOC's case. That's still so.

When I got Will's message, it reminded me of one I got from the ARI's Gary Hull may years ago. Compare the excerpt I posted from Will's note (especially: If the civil discourse focused on the ideas and their application in personal life, art, and politics that we offer there is not your cup of tea, then please let me know)with this:

Dear Lindsay:

I very much enjoyed our interview, however, some things have been brought to my attention which, if true, are disturbing. There are people in New Zealand who claim that you defend Libertarianism, that you attack Miss Rand and Objectivism, and that you believe David Kelley is the best hope for Objectivism. ... On the other hand, different acquaintances of yours deny these accusations, and insist that you are a person of integrity. Please tell me which of these is true. If it is the latter, then I apologize for the imposition. If it is the former, then I and the Ayn Rand Institute have been deceived.

Spot the similarities! (Clue—third-to-last sentence!)

Plus ca change?? Smiling

Shayne ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Thank you! Smiling

Adam ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Nothing you say here surprises me:

I've made a few posts over at RebirthofReason.com in response to Phil Coates complaints on this latest development. (http://rebirthofreason.com/For... #3, #18) No one has made any serious attempt to understand the context of this situation. I can't believe how inane and asinine the level of conversation is getting over there (and MSK's presence certainly doesn't help one iota). Whatever, I think I'll just stick with where the reason and the passion are found in mutual company.

And I think your solution is the correct one! Smiling

Linz

OK

sjw's picture

Well you're not wrong to take them at their word--they can always contact you if they didn't intend that. So--nevermind what I said about you bowing out, I agree with you.

Here's what I think is funny

Adam Buker's picture

I've made a few posts over at RebirthofReason.com in response to Phil Coates complaints on this latest development. (http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/GeneralForum/0791.shtml #3, #18) No one has made any serious attempt to understand the context of this situation. I can't believe how inane and asinine the level of conversation is getting over there (and MSK's presence certainly doesn't help one iota). Whatever, I think I'll just stick with where the reason and the passion are found in mutual company.

Integrity

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Linz, Now I see why you did bow out. What a crock! They invite you and both Brandens, have Barbara speak on Objectivism and Rage and then expect you not to have any negative comment. I think they're probably totally oblivious to the contents of PARC.

Your site has always been here for me to come and defend TOC. If they had an issue with what you said on this website, they could have come to this website and hashed it out.

Jim

Hahahaha!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I confess I never thought of you as the diplomat, Shayne! Smiling

But no, to me there's no ambiguity. It means, "If you still wanna come, stop criticising us." No two ways about it. Cut them a little slack? Hell, I've been cutting them a *lot*! Way too much, according to *some* parties. And as I say, with the stench of bad faith so strong for all the other reasons discussed, I'm not inclined to cut them any more.

Wiggle room

sjw's picture

Linz: It's defintely an ambiguous request. My response would have been (given your frame of mind about PARC which I don't exactly share) something like:

"I fully intend to speak my mind about matters important to me and where I think TOC is wrong and needs to change. I had assumed that TOC was open to criticism, but if TOC's intention is to impugn my integrity because I demonstrate hope in it--namely, hope in TOC's willingness to be criticized and change if wrong--well then I certainly don't belong there."

In fact, I still think you should respond with something like this and give Will the opportunity to take back what might have been an imprecision or slip on his part, and an understandable one I think given how harsh your criticism of them is. I'd cut them at least a little slack.

Shut up or don't come ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Here's the relevant portion of Will's words to me. In these circumstances I think it better to quote verbatim than to paraphrase. Of course, it's more diplomatic than "shut up or don't come" but it adds up to the same thing. The full message of which this is part was endorsed by Hudgins a few hours later:

Let me ask you: do you still want to come and speak at the Summer Seminar? If the civil discourse focused on the ideas and their application in personal life, art, and politics that we offer there is not your cup of tea, then please let me know. It is not too late for me to change our publicity materials. If your answer is that you would like to take part in the Summer Seminar, understanding its purpose and terms, then I hope as a matter of integrity you will reflect that decision openly in your public remarks about TOC and the Summer Seminar. Please let me know what you decide.

Bowed out or kicked out?

sjw's picture

Linz: I must have missed it--but if Will really explictly said something like, "shut up or don't come", then I definitely condone your bowing out and not shutting up, and I'd join in on harshly criticizing TOC--for that. An organization like that has to be open to harsh criticism, even if it borders on heckling and even if it's wrong.

But on skimming over your initial post again, I wasn't able to pull out where you said he told you to shut up or don't show up.

Kenny ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Thanks for your post. I don't know where this "ostracism" business is coming from. Will Thomas wrote me complaining that I'd insulted TOC in the post that I reproduced above. He asked if I still wished to present at TOC, saying that if I did I shouldn't "insult" them. Ed Hudgins wrote me also, endorsing Will's note. By this time I was aware of the latest line being spun on the Branden Fan Club site—namely, what an awful person Rand showed herself to be in the Journals, as reproduced in Valliant. The Brandenian agenda was now naked. TOC's position of ignoring PARC had come to seem even more unconscionable. Will's question, and its explicit corollary that if I still wanted to present I should shut up, gave me the opportunity to rethink my decision to go. With the stench of bad faith so strong, I decided to bow out. That's hardly "ostracism" of TOC on my part. I haven't urged that course on anyone else, presenter or attendee. And as far as I'm concerned, if Will, Ed, Bidinotto, or Kelley wish to front up to the book-signing, I'd be delighted to see them. (I can't speak for James, of course!) Hell, I've been trying to get them to front up *here* for long enough!

ARI

Kenny's picture

For the record, I am not an ARI "apologist". Indeed, I disagree passionately with the stance of its senior staffers on the Iraq war, Iran (from an Objectivist and individualist perspective) and on engaging with libertarians.

So I have a tough choice for the first week of July this year - TOC, ARI or, judging by recent events, neither.

Kenny:Personally, I would

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Kenny:Personally, I would love to have seen Linz challenge the Brandens face to face at TOC this year.

That's what I expected too!!! 

Ciro D'Agostino

Ostracism

Kenny's picture

Shayne, Ed and Will were not happy about Linz's criticisms, complained and he withdrew from the seminar. That is an old fashioned disagreement, not ostracism.

I have not seen anyone call Bob Bidinotto a liar. The TOC staff claim to be admirers and devotees of Rand but will not address the important issues raised in PARC, despite having praised PAR. Instead, they plead lack of interest and invite the Brandens to speak. Linz is right to draw attention to the convenient silence of TOC and the Brandens.

Valliant is not an ARI staffer. Why should he be asked to justify the past actions of ARI staff? All that he is responsible for is the content of his book.

Personally, I would love to have seen Linz challenge the Brandens face to face at TOC this year. There is nothing to stop the Brandens attending Valliant's signing and to publicly debate him. Let's see if they do. Somehow I doubt that they will.

What's important

sjw's picture

I'm fully on board with the idea that the Brandens owe us an explanation. For starters, they didn't tell the whole truth, and that's just for starters. (I for one would be willing to look past a lot of they would just own up and face criticism and scrutiny. As long as they don't, they deserve what they're getting.)

It's true that Robert made some inflammatory remarks deserving of criticism and even a dose of his own hostility. But he is not the Brandens. He has not even endorsed the Brandens. He wrote an endorsement of Barbara Branden's book many years ago. I can fault him for his judgment, but he's not the liar here. Really he's just got something against ARI and I think he went too far with it, but I understand it and I don't think he deserves to be condemned because of it. Particularly when Valliant and crew just want to whitewash ARI's past behavior. Why should Robert join them when they won't face up to the facts? Indeed, for my part I don't care a whole lot about the Brandens except for the fact that they provide moral support to cockroaches. And I do care about that--but they are, after all, only cockroaches. What I care more about is that Objectivists learn to be reasonable--and Valliant could have made great steps forward on this count and has instead, so far, decided to act like an ARI stooge. And I'm in for none of it.

TOC's history is long and their latest stance--made long before PARC came out--is: "Better things to do." That includes in their view to this point, "Better things to do than argue about Ayn Rand's private affairs." One might debate their choice but I think it's insanity to ostracize them for it.

Diana, I would like to know

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Diana, I would like to know if people should take your statements seriously. You seems to change your mind quite a lot about people, like you once stated that you would never post on solo, but then, here you are, all smiling and proud to be here. Is it maybe because the nail is finally shaped as you wished? Or is it because Linz finally deserves your respect.? What is it?

And please don't be afraid to answer my post. I don't sleep with dogs, I have a real family.

 

CD.

Shayne ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I agree that TOC needed time to mull its response to PARC. But it's been months now. Months ago Ed Hudgins posted here a very offhand note mis-spelling Valliant's name, saying he might give the AR journals segment "a read." Since then, complete silence on the matter, except to say that silence on the matter is TOC's official policy. Bidinotto, as has been pointed out many times, damned the book and its author before it was even released. He did make it clear he was speaking for himself, not TOC. I see he is not now, if I understand him correctly, going to issue the long statement on his blog that he was promising yesterday responding to "guttersnipes." David Kelley's statement that matters raised by PAR should have been debated (and he was quite right) was not made "before TOC was created"—it was made WHEN it was created as part of WHY it was created. It was part of his inaugural address on the occasion of the launch of IOS, which later became TOC. So the question remains—why should those matters have been debated then but not now? This is the part that spells "bad faith" to me, given that TOC has made it clear it will continue to ignore PARC. They haven't asked for more time, they've said they're not going to comment ever. Couple that with the invitations to the Brandens to present and it's clear that TOC are saying "Fuck you!" to those who are saying to them, "Wait a minute! There are some issues here that you shouldn't be ignoring!"

Shayne, I think I see your

Landon Erp's picture

Shayne,

I think I see your point. I got an inkling that something was wrong when I read PAR and some of the comments in NB's post-break psychology books.

I got an idea and quickly dismissed it to a large degree. I specifically remember one passage of PAR when you can almost hear Barbara repeating to herself "Gray, Gray, everything's gray, but maybe... no EVERYTHING is gray." A few years before I heard of Rand I came up with an idea of selfishness along the lines of Objectivist ethics and again quickly dismissed it. I guess in my case it was a case of mild moral cowardice on my part. I think I need to work on that.

---Landon

It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

I wonder why they have

Ciro D Agostino's picture

I wonder why they have waited 1/2 century before publishing a book like PARC. They could have saved Ayn Rand's face long time ago, no? Why now? Is this "non culture" the right culture to understand, and justify AR behavior?

 

Ciro D'Agostino

Irony

sjw's picture

As near as I can guess, most of the people who are so ecstatic about PARC today were actually Branden supporters before they read it. Which is understandable--they were the main ones to benefit from PARC.

For me, the main value of PARC was to see that side of the argument brought out into the field of open discussion. It's not PARC as such I cared about (I was never sucked into becoming a Branden supporter myself--like James, I can discern their lack of credibility straight from reading them), it was about raising the standard one notch above "ostracize and morally repudiate if you disagree, don't engage in debate."

So I find it ironic that the very people who were subject to this moral repudiation and ostracism before PARC are now using it as a tool to do the same thing to TOC (for the record, I do not know much about TOC myself). And I find it disheartening that James has not really learned the lesson of PARC: That sometimes, the "enemy" isn't evil, he's merely confused, but his mind is quite open to a rational argument--if you can create one instead of foaming at the mouth about how "evil" he is for not believing what you believe.

I am not a TOC supporter because I am too ignorant about them to support them. However, it is very clear that the TOC ostracism that is going on now is absolutely without a principled base. You speak of integrity--but integrity doesn't mean loyalty to a book or to a person--it means loyalty to a method, a rational method. I have attempted to get James to outline his principled argument for why TOC must publicly support PARC when they do not publicly support either Branden biography--and it is quite evident that he has none. I have attempted to get him to outline his principled argument for why we should ostracize TOC for inviting the Brandens to speak--and again, nothing. It's merely based on pointing at PARC and pointing at TOC and assuming it's all self-evident (Well, some context-dropping arguments have been made, such as quoting David Kelly's personal statements, made before TOC was ever created).

Now don't get me wrong--I think an argument could be made that inviting the Brandens is self-destructive. But it's not going to be some simplistic, religious, PARC-thumping answer. Further, an argument that TOC deserves little slack or timeframe for which to make changes based on new information must be made. One might argue that inviting the Brandens is self-destructive, but that doesn't mean that dis-inviting them now, after they were already invited, isn't more self-destructive.

I saw through the Branden biographies when I read them where former "Brandenites" and current "PARC-thumpers" did not, but now I cannot see that a rational case has been made for ostracism and moral repudiation. However you wish to explain this--it is indeed ironic.

Shannon

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Shannon,

I understand where you're coming from and the only reason I've spent as much time on this as I have is that my new job starts in a month and I have free time sandwiched around really getting to know New York City before I leave. I feel like when these things happen (PARC publication), I have to stop and take notice because otherwise you'll spend years supporting people or causes that you don't know enough about. I spent 4 years semi-active in Objectivism without knowing about the Kelley/Peikoff split for instance.

TOC has done enough good things and has promoted a culture of openness in Objectivism such that it can be defended on its merits and not on its wrongheaded approach to this issue.

The relevance of the topic is that Nathaniel Branden in particular has been peddling a notion for years that Objectivists are "repressed" and unhappy people and that it was Objectivism that did it to them. We're probably going to get the same kind of psychologizing from Barbara's Rage talk at TOC this year. Nathaniel has also gotten a wild hair about "anomalous perception". This is not the kind of thing we want to support.

Nathaniel has done very good work in his books on psychology and Barbara in her lectures on efficient thinking. If you want to focus on the positive, why not comment on the Psychology of Romantic Love thread that I started here. I do find it odd that many people who have commented at length on these issues haven't read Nathaniel's books on psychology. Outside of his memoir and Benefits and Hazards, Nathaniel's books on psychology are terrific, especially the Psychology of Romantic Love and The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.

I will be at the Summer Seminar this year, although I certainly understand Linz's decision not to go. I think they do enough good work to counterbalance some of the stupid decisions.

I take Kelley's John Stuart Mill quote from Truth and Toleration seriously:

"...being cognisant of all that can, at least obviously be said against him, and having taken up his opinion against all gainsayers--knowing that he has sought objections and difficulties instead of avoiding them , and has shut out no light which can be shown on the subject from any quarter--he has a right to think his judgment better than that of any person, or any multitude, who have not gone through a similar process."

Jim

BTW ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Scott DeSalvo:

I am afraid that TOC is cementing my view that the live Objectivism as if no ideas matter, while ARI lives O'ism as if every trifle does. SOLO'ism is where it's at, baby.

Appreciated that very much. Thanks! Smiling

Oh my oh my oh my!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's just been pointed out to me that there are comments attached to the "juvenile rant." These, & Bidinotto's responses, make it plain that he is referring to SOLO after all. And Diana's blog. And who turns out to be his chief cheerleader? Why, none other than MSK!! I've been laughing so hard I had to lie down. But it's sad really. At his best, Bro. Bob soars to glorious heights. His achievements are undeniable, and I for one admire them. His stance on PARC is not one of them, but even I don't think he deserves MSK on account of it. Jesus! I hope he comes to his senses sooner than I did ...

deleted

eg's picture

deleted

Nathaniel Branden

eg's picture

Joe, if it's "pseudo-mystical" it must be ...?

--Brant

Shannon ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I can only reiterate that the implications of this argument pertain to much more than AR's private life. But you really need to read the book to be in a position to appreciate that.

In terms of time spent on it, although it occupies but a small fraction of my time, I regard it as time well spent. Truth and justice matter. And their pursuit is resoundingly "productive."

I checked out Bidinotto's "juvenile rant"—I presume you mean this:

It's come to my attention -- and probably to the attention of other
Objectivists -- that several guttersnipes who fashion themselves as
representing "true" Objectivism have been taking public potshots at me
lately -- including denigrating my personal character, integrity, and
honesty. They do this from the distant safety of their blogs and Web sites,
and, of course, without doing the one thing any truly objective person would
do: to check the veracity of the charges with the person being attacked, to
see whether there was any relevant context. In this case, there is.

Folks, every philosophical or ideological movement has its True Believers:
those who need desperately to prove their moral status to themselves by
constantly finding new targets to denounce as being Immoral, fraudulent,
etc. These moral jihads help them convince themselves that they're truly
concerned with "morality" -- and thus must truly be moral themselves.

The guttersnipes who are attacking me are no exception. But there is a
history here, one that any Objectivists who tend to believe them will find
illuminating.

I am on deadline, but hope to get to this long message soon. It will be
posted on its own page and linked here.

Puzzling. I can only assume Bidinotto is referring to things said elsewhere, since he has signed on here umpteen times over the last several weeks, without posting. He had to be aware of what was being said here, so if it's something that's just been drawn to his attention, as he claims, it must be something else. I'll be curious to see what it is. Possibly it has nothing to do with PARC or anything at all said on SOLOPassion. Certainly, it's scarcely an indicator of "True Believer" status or a penchant for self-righteousness to point out a blatant double standard.

Also puzzling that he says his "denigrators" derogate him from the safety of their blogs & web sites. Is he saying that if one has an issue with him one should climb on a plane & confront him face to face?! Given that he's notorious for never letting listening get in the way of his talking, what the hell would that achieve?! Is there a problem all of a sudden with communicating openly on the Internet? I for one have never had one.

It occurs to me that TOC has decided to unleash its "bad cop" now that there's nothing to lose. We'll see. As I say, maybe it has nothing at all to do with anything said here.

Linz

I echo the post which

srchamberlain's picture

I echo the post which pointed out that AR's public relations issues have very little to do with the Brandens. Quite frankly, as an undergrad at that bastion of libertarian thought, Harvard, I encountered far more people who just didn't know anything about Objectivism or Ayn Rand--tabulae rasae. Hell, my English professor and former head of the MLA was known to have left his first wife for a former student and his office was still one of those that female undergrads tended to avoid whenever possible. AR could have been an utter Puritan in her personal life and she'd still be at the disadvantage of speaking against a thousand years of Western tradition.

I don't understand how anyone could maintain that more intense scrutiny on AR's private life will liberate her from scandal and make her academically respectable. All common sense points to the contrary.

If it's true that TOC did anything to suppress discussion of this book (or if Robert Bidinotto is running around condemning it before bothering to crack the spine), that's the real issue here. However, it's hard to get a straight account out of anyone. You've got Bidinotto posting juvenile rants over at his blog, and a one-sided email correspondence here at SOLO, and no clear answers to what the heck is going on.

I think it's time that some of you ask yourselves how you'll feel about this particular use of your time in, say, ten years. Or, for that matter, how you look to those of us under the age of 30 right now, who are ready to start thinking and talking about AR's ideas. We're a small enough community already without ripping each other to pieces over this. Knowing whether N. Branden told the whole truth and nothing but the truth about his private life between the years 1960 and 1965 is not, nor should it be, essential to evaluating the ideas set forth in his books. And I hardly need say that the same applies to AR. If BB wants to flounce off in a snit and throw a few petty charges of alcoholism around, who cares? Presumably, the people whose opinions you care about know they're not true.

C'mon, gentlemen. "Getting angry" isn't a suitable end, and it's sure as hell not a suitable means to anything even mildly productive. Not in this case, at any rate.

No mention of the Brandens?

JoeM's picture

Try the field of psychology, where Nathaniel makes his living. He uses Rand's name to support his own theories, rides the fence on Objectivism enough to keep his ready made audience, while at the same time promoting a psuedo-mystical view. And he and Barbara have been outspoken on the harmful effects of Objectivism on an individual's psyche.

Etc.

Neil Parille's picture

Kenny,

I wasn't aware of the article you mentioned when I wrote my comment, but it doesn't change the fact that most philosophical criticism of Rand doesn't have much to do with the Brandens.

Actually, I think what happens is that many people get "turned off" by Rand's philosophy. They read Rand denouncing important thinkers as "whim worshipers," "mystics," who "worship death" etc. It's only natural to assume that a person who could be as shrill as Rand occasionally was must have run a cult, particularly in light of the conduct of her true believing followers.

In other words, I think Rand's polemical style turns around and bites her.

What's the alternative?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Kenny

Having problems with both TOC and ARI doesn't mean one can't/shouldn't promote/praise/benefit from the good things they do, though I think TOC is in a severe crisis right now. Closing their eyes to PARC and their ears to criticism—precisely the kind of conduct for which they fault ARI—is damaging their credibility and effectiveness and calling their very integrity into question. I know there are those who believe they never had any, but I'm not one of them. TOC was a very proper and overdue backlash against the ARI's True Believer attitudes and practices that went way beyond "quality control" and into the realm of religiosity. But if TOC don't stop the rot I suspect they'll soon be gone. Annual seminars alone cannot sustain an organisation that is supposedly trying to spearhead a cultural revolution. Offering succour to enemies doesn't help either.

Obviously my hope is that SOLO will become a major player in helping spawn this cultural revolution. As yet we lack infrastructure and Big Money. But I'd like to think that anyone who reads the Credo and imbibes the spirit here will want to get in behind in whatever way he/she can.

Historically, who knows how it will play out? Men have free will. All Objectivist organisations combined add up to less than a speck of dust on the global landscape right now. But we can take heart from the fact that history shows how far a little reason can go. Think how far a *lot* of reason might go! There'll never be a "happily ever after," but there *could* be a sea-change. A lot depends on how much effort we who understand this are prepared to put into it, recognising that "he who fights for the future lives in it today."

Linz

TOC

Kenny's picture

One comment in defence of TOC. At least Will Thomas came to London and ran a seminar (that I sadly missed due to other commitments). Outreach is very important.

It would be useful to have an independent view on the quality of the TOC and ARI seminars that are running simultaneously in July.

Linz appears to have problems with both TOC and ARI, so what's the alternative for those wishing to increase their knowledge and understanding of Ojectivism?

Aint it the truth...

atlascott's picture

"The book brought home to me that an injustice had been done to a giant—a giant, not a god—who was not here to defend herself."

That's the truth.

It makes you wonder WHY anyone at TOC thought that having Linz and BB on the same card was a viable line-up.  Did they think that it was a feud that could be resolved by simply getting Linz and BB in the same room?  BB's actions at the old SOLOHQ were enough to raise some profound doubts about integrity and judgment.  Valliant's book is quite a read.  Misguided people can have some good thoughts, and make valid contributions.  That does not give them carte blanche to be deceitful or to allow conceit and position to substitute for thinking.  Nothing can substitute for considereed thought and integrity.  And a particular important contribution does not erase or make up for bad conduct.  For Rand, her occasional bad conduct is a trifle when weighed against her elephantine contributions.  The same cannot be said about BB and NB, in my book.  GETTING famous is very difficult.  STAYING famous and parlaying that into a comfortable living is order of magnitude easier, in my book.

It sucks that Linz will not be able to hang around with alot of folks who have yet to see what Mr. Valliant has laid out, but who are otherwise great folks.

I REALLY like Robert Bidinotto.  I really wonder WHY he or TOC do not address Valliant's book.  If it is the bullshit they sort of implicitly claim, it ought to be easy to piss on, no?

It is a pleasure to see Jason Dixon posting on SOLOPassion.

I am afraid that TOC is cementing my view that the live Objectivism as if no ideas matter, while ARI lives O'ism as if every trifle does.

SOLO'ism is where it's at, baby.

No mention of the Brandens?

Kenny's picture

Neil

Read this attack article by David Ramsay-Steele (author of that Liberty article that you give the url for) on Rand entitled "Alice in Wonderland" - http://www.la-articles.org.uk/....

Here is a snippet

"The tale told by Barbara Branden is absolutely riveting. It is considered high praise to say of a book that, having once begun it, you can't put it down, but for me the more significant accolade is that having .finished it you can't put it down, and that is certainly true of this amazing and fascinating story. It recounts Rand's life, partly on the basis of personal recollection and partly on the basis of detailed research. The portrait of Rand is outrageously vivid, yet patchy. There was something abnormally potent and enthralling about Rand, and although those who never met her can hardly reconstruct exactly what it was, Branden's book is impressive testimony to its existence and approximate contours. Yet there are puzzling gaps and murky areas. "

This hatchet job is based on PAR, like many criticisms of Rand in books, on the internet and in the media. PAR widely regarded as totally authentic and is used to destroy Rand's personal and professional reputation.

I have not read PAR or PARC yet but plan to do so soon. There is no doubt, however, that if PARC can refute the Brandens' allegations with clear evidence, I will be delighted. The Brandens, tellingly, have not responded to PARC, even on MSK's fan site. Their silence is deafening. Jim Valliant may go down in history as the man who restored Rand's reputation. If so, we admirers of Rand owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Etc.

Neil Parille's picture

Barbara Branden's book is (to the best of my knowledge) the only full length biography of Rand. So that's where people will naturally go to get info on her life. To the extent that it has errors, those errors will tend to be diseminated.

On the other hand, what Objectivists want most of all is for Objectivist ideas to influence the culure and the Branden dispute doesn't have much to do with that. I wouldn't be surprised if the Official Objectivist attitude toward those who are sympathetic to Rand (such as Chris Sciabarra & Tibor Machan) has driven more people away from Objectivism than the Brandens.

As another example, I'm doing research for an article on the Objectivist view of Kant. No one mentions the Brandens, e.g. --

http://libertyunbound.com/arch...

Casey, James, I haven't read

Landon Erp's picture

Casey, James,

I haven't read the book yet (mainly for financial reasons) but from what I've picked up from your posts...

All I hope is that it leads to being able to say Rand's name and talk about her ideas without feeling like I've just dropped an F-Bomb in church.

---Landon

It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

Deleted

Mick Russell's picture

Deleted

It's About Objectivism

James S. Valliant's picture

S. R. Chamberlain,

PARC and the books it examines are about much more than Rand's sex life or a private "quarrel." They discuss many aspects of her life, including Rand's -- or anyone's -- capacity to actually live Objectivism. While the truth of Objectivism certainly does not turn on Rand's life story, we might learn something, surely, from the experiences of the first person who attempted to live-up to the ideas of Objectivism -- Ayn Rand. There is, in fact, an important lesson -- a philosophical one -- in PARC that as a "newcomer" you might find of value.

James H-P

Casey's picture

It's the ONLY view of Rand for most in the entertainment and publishing worlds. I repeat, the ONLY view.

As Casey says ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... anyone bored by the matter should just bypass any thread dealing with it.

I was in the "bored" category till I finally, grumpily, read the book. The book brought home to me that an injustice had been done to a giant—a giant, not a god—who was not here to defend herself. She spoke, in the book, via her journals, reinforcing conclusions author Valliant had already reached independently. I went from boredom (and ignorant hostility to Valliant) to anger. Anger against the perpetrators of the injustice and a desire to help James put things right. I wrote the review that can be found in the SOLOHQ archive on this site and in The Free Radical.

Peter Cresswell was in the "bored" category. When in Auckland I took my copy of the book round to his place and gently offered to leave it with him just in case he decided to read it anyway. He rolled his eyes then, but I knew what would happen if he did read it—he would get very, very angry. He read it—and told me he was "fucking angry." I said, "Don't hold back!" He wote his review, here and in The Free Radical. He didn't hold back! His review is a masterpiece of rational passion.

Anyone who hasn't read the book and is genuinely curious as to what the fuss is about should read these reviews. Better still, read the book!

It's called being true to and passionate about one's values.

Linz

Interest

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

OK Casey,

Now you've got my attention. I've never had anyone mention the biographies to my face as a reason not to read Ayn Rand or take her seriously. However, I see this kind of thing in magazine or print publications all the time. The problem I have with the people I hang out with is that I can't get them to take any time from their research or get their nose out of the latest IEEE electronics digest long enough to read Rand.

How often does this topic come up in literary and academic circles? If so, I find it an odd kind of prudery from a left-leaning establishment that usually loves unconventional affairs and unstable geniuses.

Jim

Mick,

Casey's picture

Go ahead and forget this issue. You'll understand why it's important someday after it's thrown in your face enough times for simply saying Ayn Rand's ideas are worth thinking about.

For all those who aren't interested, go ahead and be uninterested, I say. No reason to even comment on this thread, for that matter.

Obviously, a lot of people are interested, though, even though you don't have a reason to agree with them, I guess. I didn't for many years, myself. But others have a good reason for being interested in it, despite your lack of interest.

But you shouldn't expect others to shut down their interest in it because a newcomer doesn't understand it. Others obviously have good reasons for their interest, which have already been stated by some on this thread. If you're interested in why, check out what they said and the book they are talking about. Otherwise, well, don't.

Deleted

Mick Russell's picture

Deleted

Hi Jason! Great to see your

Robert's picture

Hi Jason!

Great to see your smiling face again Smiling

And remember, what happens in Chatanooga stays in Chatanooga... Eye

Linz: I realise that your

Derek McGovern's picture

Linz: I realise that your decision not to attend the summer seminar at TOC was a tough one to make, but I'm convinced you're doing the right thing. Besides, you'll have much more fun with the Valliants and other kindred spirits.

Jason: It's great to see you back, and I salute your honesty!

The Fellowship Grows

James S. Valliant's picture

Jason,

There is absolutely NO need to apologize -- it took me a while to come to my conclusions, and I didn't catch it all on the first or second reads, either.

Thank you so much.

I'm not sure. I read parts

srchamberlain's picture

I'm not sure. I read parts of the Branden books, and my admiration for Ayn Rand remained intact. Who among us leads the sort of life that can stand up to such intense scrutiny? I shudder to think about what my biography would look like, and I'm not old enough to have made all that many mistakes.

Look. I've never understood why raking over the biography of Rand is a subject of such obvious and intense pleasure to some. If you told me that Rand was secretly a Hindu priestess of Shiva, it wouldn't diminish the magnitude of her accomplishment. It seems so obvious that I hesitate to say it, but a hero can occasionally do non-heroic things. I haven't read the Valliant book, so I have no idea whether the evidence is convincing or not. Mostly, I just don't care, and I fail to understand how anyone who wasn't intimately associated with NBI or has a personal pony in this race could.

An intellectual biography of Rand? Sure. A gossipy one? Thanks, but there's so many other things I'd rather do. Like read Foucault. Or get a root canal.

MSK

Jason Quintana's picture

"Actually reading the book is what made me finally conclude that Michael Stuart Kelly is a vicious man with an evil agenda."

Or else he is mentally ill. On another website he recently accused me of promoting the rightousness of baby starvation. Of course I was advocating no such thing. That was just a cheap diversion tactic because he knew I had destroyed his previous "arguments". He's been getting worse and worse over the last 6 months.

- Jason

Glad to see you back Jason.

Landon Erp's picture

Glad to see you back Jason. Also that was one hell of a stand Linz. I don't usually use this word but it seems appropriate... Kudos.

---Landon

It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

It is about being true to reality

Charles Henrikson's picture

The Quarrel here is about being true to reality; practicing the virtues of honesty and integrity in pursuit of restoring a hero whose reputation has been dragged through the mud.

As a relative newcomer to

srchamberlain's picture

As a relative newcomer to Objectivism and a 1:30 second-member of this site, can I ask a very basic question?

What the hell is anyone getting out of prolonging this 40-year quarrel?

Shake

JoeM's picture

Adam, MSK and Shake may be one and the same.

"Master Shake: Plaque is a figment of the liberal media and the dental industry to scare you into buying useless appliances and pastes. Now, I've heard the arguments on both sides, and there is nothing to convince me of the need to brush your teeth.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Master ShaKe? (Aqua Teen Hunger Force :P )

Adam Buker's picture

MSK is short for Micheal Stuart Kelly, he posted on SOLOhq.com and then this site for a while. He was recently kicked off of this site for making baseless attacks and accusations against those that agreed with the basic thesis of Jim Valliant's Passion of Ayn Rand's Crictics, which presents the case that both Barbara Branden (who used to post on SOLOHQ, but left after a controversy in which her and another member accused Linz [the founder of SOLO] of being an alcoholic [amazing that a person living in the states that has met Linz only a few times can know him better than people that live in New Zealand that have known Linz for many years])

Damn that was a mouthful.

Adam

Btw, liked your score for Home Room

Welcome Back Jason

JoeM's picture

You weren't alone in your change of heart, Jason. Smiling

Jason,

Casey's picture

You know, I've been called a lot of things and denigrated by a lot of people since engaging in a defense of PARC. Once you know the truth, however, it's hard to sit on the sidelines and watch the likes of MSK, etc., etc., cheerfully spouting lie after lie. Have I looked like an asshole to a bunch of people who haven't read PARC? I'm sure I have. Many claim Ayn Rand was abusive during Q&A sessions when a whole peanut gallery of doubters fired away at her ideas with their best shots -- when all of them are excused and erased from the picture, she may appear to some to be an unpleasant person who was too harsh. I understand that phenomenon a bit better now.

But I will say that it's all worth it to get even one person to read the book and realize why it, and Rand, and Valliant deserve kudos, and not this hateful stream of venom. Sometimes the most important tasks are the most thankless, but I'm sure James values one man's honest thanks more than he cares about a whole choir of dishonest snipers, no matter how long it takes for one of them to step forward.

Alas, to many you have now become a Rand-worshipping, ARI-fetishizing, raging moralist with an irrational hatred for the Brandens -- I'm afraid that's how easy it is for that transformation to take place. You probably didn't even notice it happening, eh?

But, seriously, at least you'll understand where all of that is coming from when it is directed at you.

Thank you for your courage in saying this. It takes no courage at all to avoid reading Rand's side of the story and be a me-too voice for the Brandens and TOC. It's very important that honest voices like yours make themselves heard on this matter.

Wonderful to see you Jason ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... and thanks for doing the decent thing.

The ground swells!

This is my first post

jasondixon's picture

This is my first post on the site, but it wouldn't be right for me to keep silent on the subject of PARC (and the Brandens, and even MSK).

I bought and read PARC a few weeks ago. I was quite simply blown away. There were so very many inconsistencies and contradictions in the Brandens' accounts that I can't believe I missed them. In fact, I recognized every single passage Valliant cited, having previously read both books at least twice, and I could kick myself for my obliviousness.

If Valliant's intent was to demonstrate utter deception and twisting of events in the Brandens' books, he did it with flying colors.

This realization brought home another: the memory of my own denouncing of the book on SOLOHQ. As editor of the site at the time, I'm the one who posted the original news item and got the conversation about it going. I don't fault myself for making the mistake of thinking it was an ARI-sponsored and -driven project and denouncing it for that reason. (Although, after reading the book, I now wouldn't have cared if it had been.)

What I *do* fault myself for is not rescinding my comments in light of the correction of this mistake that Casey Fahy posted--and, of course, waiting so long to read the damn book.

So, I'd like to apologize to Valliant for being a voice among the denouncers on SOLOHQ to begin with, and also let him know my reaction.

Linz's previous posts in the wake of his reading PARC, as well as Valliant's own reasonable, open, but firm posts here, are what ultimately convinced me I needed to read PARC. Actually reading the book is what made me finally conclude that Michael Stuart Kelly is a vicious man with an evil agenda. If Barbara Branden is actually associating with him, as posts on this thread indicate, then it's so much for the worse for her. MSK's comments (read: lies) about PARC could not have been innocent mistakes or a "different take"--they were thoroughly dishonest.

Congratulations, by the way, to Linz (and others) for the integrity and honesty shown in this thread. I read Diana Hsieh's blog frequently and saw the link to the announcement. I've been surprised but pleased at what I've seen.

Fellowship of integrity

mcohen's picture

Hi Jim,

Your courage to undertake Rand's case against the Brandens inspires others to follow, as it inspired me. Thanks for showing the way!

-- Michelle

Hi!

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Diana,

I, too, am glad you have decided to make an appearance and though we are on different sides of many of these issues, I hope you will decide to post here occasionally.

Jim

(Forgive the clueless

MichaelGShapiro's picture

(Forgive the clueless outsider question, but who is this mysterious MSK?)

Wow!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Yes, Greg, I remember you. If you read my recently-reprised TOC, SOLO ... and KASS you'll see you get honourable mention! Smiling

Thanks so much for speaking up. "Looking at the facts, changing their course and living their values." Says it all. Bravo!

Hope you can make it in July. Bring your sax! Smiling

Likewise!

Greg Perkins's picture

I have to chime in with some props for the integrity thing, Linz! As for missing the common room: yes, it stings a little at first, but no worries -- ever more people are looking at the facts, changing course, and living their values. With gatherings like that signing-across-the-street and others like the upcoming weekend law conference in Colorado, I'm sure you'll find more than enough get-togethers for KASS good times.

-- Greg (don't know if you'd remember me from the common room: sax player, god-stuff lecturer)

Diana!!!! :-)

Lindsay Perigo's picture

So *that's* what you look like! Quite a smile to match that sizzle! Smiling

So glad to see you've stopped lurking. Do feel free to drop by any time. Of course, I'll be in *terrible* trouble now!

I confess I'm in a bit of a funk about TOC. So many good people I was so looking forward to catching up with, and of course, delivering a classic Linz presentation to. But since James has said he wants to reach the total passion for the total height with me, I'd better save myself for him. Smiling

James, Casey, Robt Winefield, Holly, Michelle, and you Diana—thanks for your words of support. Yes, we'll have a KASS time in July!

Credit Is Due

DianaHsieh's picture

I have to cease lurking -- at least for a moment -- to congratulate Linz for recognizing the injustice of TOC's willful blindness to the truth about Nathaniel and Barbara Branden -- and acting accordingly. TOC doesn't deserve you, Linz. (Plus, you'll have much more fun with Jim!)

Fellowship of Integrity

James S. Valliant's picture

Linz,

I figured I'd be standing alone -- very alone -- when I first began writing PARC. But, the more worthwhile a project, the more folks it's likely to piss off.

I never imagined that in its wake, I would be honored to share such a fellowship of integrity as I now enjoy. I live for the spectacle of such courage and rationality as you and Michelle exemplify.

It's strange that TOC pits the conscience of a lecturer whom they invite against a policy towards the Brandens they will not allow to be even debated.

Open? Tolerant?

In any event, Linz, my gratitude and admiration are hard to express. I eagerly (and impatiently) look forward to meeting you in person this July -- and I feel honored by the chance to share a stage with you, sir.

May we reach the total passion at the total height together!

Hi Michelle.

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Welcome to the club! Smiling Actually, I'd hate to think they (TOC) think they're damned if they do invite & damned if they don't. I taunted them to invite me (& Valliant) & they invited me (maybe they were going to anyway!). Then I disinvited myself! I'm sure they'll be thinking, "Damned prima donna!" It should be clear, though, to anyone who's followed this that my self-disinvite was not capricious. And I stress that my suspicion that theirs was a "Linz/Brandens/wow!/bums-on-seats" invite is just that—a suspicion based on the fact that they didn't tell me about Barbara, even though they knew what had gone down between us. Perhaps the oversight was entirely innocent, though that would bespeak a gaucheness that is odd from those who purport to set such store by "civility."

Likely we'll never know, since their policy seems to be to say nothing about anything. Where the hell is the KASS that Hudgins promised to bring to TOC?! Even on the Danish cartoons they've been remarkably slow on the uptake, left in the dust by ARI, as Diana has noted in detail on her blog. And if KASS is being sacrificed for "openness" what the hell is "open" in the hypersensitivity displayed in calling my recent post quoted here as a "screed of insults"? I mean, just read it! "Screed of insults"??!! Jesus, you can't be open & that effing precious at the same time!

I'd like to be able to say I wish them well, still, but if their silence re PARC continues, along with their tacit (screaming?) endorsement of the Brandens, especially in light of the anti-Rand agenda now being openly touted by the Brandens' poster-boy, then I would have to conclude that my provisional judgement of "bad faith" is not only fully justified, but an understatement.

Linz

Objectivism - as far as I

Robert's picture

Wsscherk:

Objectivism - as far as I understand it says that your life is your highest value. It points out that to achieve the goal of living a "good" life (good meaning enjoyable, moral ethical etc.) you should always be true to yourself.

In my opinion this means that you should not - for example - paper over the fissures in your personal relationships just for the sake of public-dignity of another person whom you owe nothing to.

Nor should you feel obligated to do this for an organisation that is (supposedly) repleat with rugged-individualists well able to fight and speak for themselves...

To your quote:

"SOLO provides a forum where Objectivists of all allegiances can engage each other, & the world, free from the "I have nothing to gain from dealing with you - begone!" nonsense that seems to be 'de rigueur' among some Objectivists."

Engagement in the sense of talking to one another on the web-site, not in the sense of betrothal. Linz has not forbidden Barbara & Nathaniel and the TOC-head-honchos from coming on and putting their case on SOLOP.

The issues between Linz and BB are as real as they are deeply-personal. Suggesting that Linz and Barbara should kiss and makeup for the good of objectivism is stupidity on a par with suggesting that Nathaniel and Ayn to kiss and make up for the same reason. It is on a par with suggesting that a woman not divorce her violent-husband for the good of the kids.

The whole point of objectivism is that there are no altars nor public sacrifices. And yet despite all that has happened nobody - other than trolls - have been banished from this website.

This entire argument is both a cheap-shot and a strawman.

KASS!!

Holly Valliant's picture

Linz,

It's clear that TOC wants to live out still another Branden lie -- that PARC is just about Rand's "private" (read, "sex") life and that Branden offenses against Objectivism, Rand and the truth were confined to the 1960s, and do not extend t to their more recent books.

Thank you, Linz, for standing up for truth and justice.

We are going to have a KASS event come July in any case!!

All salute the High Queen of Passion!

wsscherk's picture

Think of him also as a kind of constitutional monarch, like the Queen of England, who gets wheeled out on ceremonial occasions to rubber-stamp the infallibly excellent decisions of his excellent Prime Minister (Mr Rowlands) & the PM's excellent Cabinet (the rest of the staff). In the unlikely event of the Government going awry, or mutineering, of course, the monarch would step in & assume absolute powers until order & sanity were restored.

[ . . . ]

He is proud of what SOLO has achieved. He is thrilled that in SOLOHQ, thanks to Prime Minister Rowlands & Minister Landauer, SOLO can boast the best Objectivist web site there is. He is delighted that SOLO provides a forum where Objectivists of all allegiances can engage each other, & the world, free from the "I have nothing to gain from dealing with you - begone!" nonsense that seems to be 'de rigueur' among some Objectivists.
http://rebirthofreason.com/Art...

Congratulations on deepening the cleavage between the ratty old boobs on both sides, and for striking off in several bold new directions at once. We probably need you to come back and sort out the moral failures at ROR. I know you're busy guiding all the non-toads to total passion in the new playpen, but, if you get tired of the thin atmosphere up there . . .

Evidence

AdamReed's picture

With enough evidence justice becomes a lemma of honesty. You are sometimes an ill-tempered fellow, Linz, and at other times too willing to dwell on unlikely possibilities, but always honest to a fault. I expected you to go by the evidence, and you have. You are now in good company.

Congratulations, Linz

mcohen's picture

Congratulations for taking a principled stand on TOC and the Brandens.

It's good that you could see through the TOC maneuver of inviting you to speak. I was in a similar situation last year: As soon as I criticized TOC for inviting anti-Israeli speakers to talk at the Cato/TOC conferene on the war in Iraq - I was notified that my proposals for the regular and advanced seminars were accepted. It did look like a maneuver to keep me quiet. Luckily I read PARC and bowed out.

Best regards,
Michelle Fram Cohen

GASP!!! You insulted TOC?

Robert's picture

GASP!!! You insulted TOC? The poor dears!

Good call about avoiding that conference, life's too short as it is without lining up for akward situations.

Have fun in California! Hopefully, when you guys get around to organising SOLOP1, I can be one of the "enablers" who helps you stage an intervention between the wine and the cellar Smiling

All the best.

Bravo, Linz!

Casey's picture

I'm willing to pitch in $1,000 to the travel arrangements, and we might even get a fund drive going on the site to pitch in. We're looking into booking a site for an after-party nearby right now. A purge party after TOC... it might be necessary for TOC attendees who have just binged on the Brandens.

Perhaps we'll book a restaurant space and invite interested guests to bring their favorite vintages afterwards...?

I will soon be posting an article entitled "The Nature of Poison" about the appalling hatred toward Ayn Rand and Objectivism that has recently been evidenced by MSK and his ilk at Nathaniel Branden's Yahoo list and other sites. The silver lining in this mud-slinging is that it has driven the true feelings about Rand and her philosophy that these phonies harbor into the open where anyone can now see it for what it is once and for all. The fact that the Brandens not only conscion this hatred but HOST it on their sites and participate in forums where it is promulgated and sponsored should speak loudly now to those who still cleave to their "moral" standing.

I'm reminded of a line in "I, Claudius" where Claudius realizes the zeitgeist has been accelerated as the corrupt step up and identify their motives: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out..."

They're hatching out now, and that will be clear in my following article. I've never seen such palpable hatred of Rand or her ideas written by any self-described enemy of Rand -- ever. The fact that these statements have come from people who claim to be her admirers should reveal something very important about the passion of Ayn Rand's critics...

Once again, Bravo. See you in July!

Casey

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