But I do think of you, all the time. Every waking hour...I despise you, I hate you, you reign in my thoughts.

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Fri, 2006-04-28 01:54

"One thing that has been in my mind lately is this; objectivists often quote from the scene in the Fountainhead where Toohey asks Roark to say what he thinks of him, and Roark replies, "But I don't think of you." Some objectivists can't seem to shake thoughts of the Tooheys(or perceived Tooheys) in their life."

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Casey's picture

Agreed. We're "halfway there." This is just the first half of the journey, true, to getting where the ideas can be the main focus, FINALLY. But because of how unconventional these ideas are, particularly, the unpleasant act of revealing the extent of the enmity and continued exploitation of Rand's exploiters must be done first. They have great sway. Unfortunately, there are some messes to clean up that have been dumped in the middle of the living room.

Even Joe Rowlands and Ethan Dawe are experiencing that. Hopefully, they have a bit more perspective and sympathy for those who fought MSK long before they ever had to put on armor and join that ugly fray. Back when PARC was being treated with MSK's attentions they were quite content to ride it out, as I remember... (Well, you're welcome to it, now, Gentleman. Guess you can't not draw the line after all, eh? You judgmental, exclusionary, bickering, vitriolic character-assassinating bastards.)


Landon Erp's picture

I see your point. And to be honest I think Diana has handled herself well. The more I think about it I blame the onlookers.

There were people here with legit beefs who aired them. And it just frustrates me that it's going to get followed up by a long period of, it can only be called NON-debate. Non debate masquerading as debate. Sure there will be legit people on each side but there's also going to be a lot of just pointless back and forth.

It's like I said on an RoR thread... the issues here are mainly private and people should think them through alone. Granted they have wider implications but I think that's why privacy and internal thought is so important in issues like this. I think understanding and moving forward is an important thing in situations like this. I mean hell some people are going to have to majorly rearrange their lives around the new information... It's best to just move forward, rip it off like a band aid, adjust your approach to the context and situations and be prepared to let the people who just don't get it, continue to do so... to the extent that you only approach them in specific instances from then on.

Granted the heavy trudging through muck you've had to deal with up to this point probably makes this approach not seem as beneficial as possible.

My issue is, there is something wrong. The best thing to do is Act based on that knowledge. If you understand the new context, you apply it and work from it... if you're right the world will catch up with you eventually (I know it's not always this way but it is the key to it)

Personally like I said I'm not that invested in this particular split, I have a better understanding of some things and I appreciate that, I just get frustrated seeing issues like this consuming so much time. It's ultimately a simple choice, you're either convinced or you're not. And from that you either act on it or you don't. The first part is quite a bit more innocent, but I find these things tend to resolve themselves with time and some key information (we're halfway there).


It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

Ipso Facto

Casey's picture

Yes, James. Yes.

Rand , Too?

James S. Valliant's picture

So was Rand being Roark-like or not with her own portrait of Toohey? Wasn't she focused on the "Tooheys" to a certain degree?

Yes, James,

Casey's picture

And there was also an Ayn Rand, in addition to Roark.

Sure, But...

James S. Valliant's picture

But wouldn't it have been a good thing for Roark if Toohey had been exposed early on in the story?


Casey's picture

Reading Diana's post, I came across many different feelings -- at first I thought, oh, this is kind of personal and unnecessary to air in public because of the very long introduction, then I thought well, OK, she has a point that makes sense to air in public, then I started to realize, because of the impeccably reasoned and sourced commentary, that her point was in fact extremely relevant to a broader phenomenon as well as impeccably argued and sourced. It's a long read, but it must be read in its totality to judge it fairly, believe me.

There is nothing that she says that is not honestly justified by the evidence and her scrupulously justified analysis of the evidence is actually deeply illuminating in a broader sense that elevates her statement well above the interpersonal to a fundamental question about what is going on in the Objectivist movement a la smear tactics against ARI, and by extension, Rand and Peikoff -- along with the rest of the popular mythology of the Kelleyites.

The Brandens started a cancerous growth in Objectivism that was unfortunately a communicable disease, it seems. What I started to realize while reading Diana's statement is that some of the biggest and most "authoritative" sources for the negative mythology surrounding Rand, Peikoff, and ARI probably originally came from the Brandens' smug assurances which seem to have been slavishly amplified by the manufactured footnotes of their friends and supporters who, otherwise, seem to be personally intimidated by the totality of Rand and her philosophy and welcome a justification to differ from her by way of denigration supplied by the supposedly authoritative Brandens.

Diana is calling attention, with firsthand and smoking evidence, to the tip of an ice berg with this post. It's a much bigger point when placed properly into the whole context of what is going on. There are some, like Joe Rowlands, who wish to bury their heads in the sand and claim that pointing this out is destructive to the spread of Rand's ideas, even though I note that he and his partner, the estimable Ethan Dawe, have to fight precisely the same battles they disparage (at least when they take place with Barbara Branden herself and her heavyweight supporters) when they are confronted with the likes of Barbara Branden's chief low-level supporters like MSK, who routinely and not surprisingly contradicts every fundamental of Rand's philosophy while uncontestedly remaining a public defender of Barbara, Nathaniel, Chris, Kelley and TOC. Hell, Joe and Robert Campbell have already been awarded a TOC slot -- can MSK be far behind?

Diana has, in just the amount of words necessary and with precisely justified analysis, shown that there is something rotten in Denmark. There are vicious lies being spread, and by Mr. Nice himself, on the other side of the ARI debate. It's time that that is looked at very closely and given the scrutiny it really deserves. Just what is going on here? Whatever it is, Diana's statement proves that the anti-ARI rumor mill is full of shit.


Landon Erp's picture

I think you might actually be onto something Jody. I read the post and I can understand the reasoning behind the conclusions of those involved for the most part. Never having interacted with the man much myself I'm fairly neutral. From what was stated not so sure I'd want to try and persue a friendship with him but I've interacted with him very little and his writing is hit or miss for me.

What's bothering me now is the realization that this is going to be a topic dominating the forums for the forseeable future. (Not years but let's be honest a week, a month, who knows how long).

That's time that could be spent discussing productive ideas but based on the conclusions the issues seem to draw for the people involved it seems like it would be a case of needlessly dwelling on something that's best left in the past as you rebuild and answering critics who've already made a decision.

Justafiable... yes.

a good use of time in THE ONLY LIFE YOU'RE EVER GOING TO HAVE... not so much.

But like I said I'm not Diana, Linz or Chris (or even Joe)... it's up to you to choose how to deal with it. I just hate it when it seems like the world comes to a standstill every couple of months.

Then the more I think about it, maybe it's like one of those self perpetuating things. Like all those celebrity smear pieces disecting everything from the eating habits, work habits and fashion to bathroom schedule and favorite sexual positions of celebrities. It's a waste of time, it is dragging through dirty laundry, it is ugly, but it makes money or there wouldn't be so many sources covering it.

To be honest many of the people involved in this thread aren't directly involved in the issue... So whether it's complaining or talking it up, defending or deriding I think part of the blame rests squarely on us non-participants who keep begging the issue. The evidence is there, if it was enough to convince you ok, if not that's fine too... YOU LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE! YOU WEIGH IT! YOU MOVE ON!

If it comes up again later that's one thing but why drag it out.
That's my stance and that's all I have to say.


It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

Linz, My comment was

Jody Gomez's picture

My comment was precipitated by Diana's column, but was not directed at her. It was directed at the objectivist community as a question. What I was referring to, is something that I see take place each and every place that 2 or more O'ists come together. I understand fighting against evil. But, the line from the Fountainhead, also reminds me of Ayn's break with Nathaniel. To Whom It May Concern is, to my knowledge, the only public statement she ever made about him after the break. Even after NB's rebuttal, I don't know of anywhere that she engaged his arguments. She seems to have simply stopped thinking of him. Or perhaps she just prioritized, and decided there were bigger evils in the world to fry.

Too often ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... folk invoke that "I don't think of you line" to justify not just their refusal to take the wannabe Tooheys on but their ongoing brown-nosing of them, fraternising with them, posting on their websites, etc.. Read Rand's words again: "You should do everything in your power (though not at the price of self-sacrifice) to counteract evil and irrationality, which requires taking it seriously." For Diana, at whom I guess this thread is directed, to take Chris on as she did was not self-sacrifice; it would have been self-sacrifice *not* to.


Rand answered a similar

JoeM's picture

Rand answered a similar question in her Q&A:

"I've written that one problem with Americans is that they don't believe in the reality of evil. You better take evil and irrationality seriously: not in the sense of regarding it as important-not in the sense of letting it determine the course of your life...but in the sense of not evading its existence. You should do everything in your power (though not at the price of self-sacrifice) to counteract evil and irrationality, which requires taking it seriously. But that is not the meaning of the this line from ATLAS SHRUGGED." ["We didn't have to take any of it seriously.]

Great Point!

Jason Quintana's picture

Jody -- this is an excellent point and one that I actually brought up in a discussion just yesterday. Roark's "But I don't think of you" approach was not an act of evasion. He wasn't morally obligated to go after Toohey. In fact he decided that doing so wasn't in his rational self interest.  In other contexts it is necessary to face enemies squarely.  But again, this is because doing do is in one's rational self interest.  Only in these instances where it is in your self interest to fight it out does a failure to do so qualify as a "sanction of the victim".

And so this is really a question of pure selfishness. 

The question should be asked :

Does this person who I have deemed to be immoral, dishonest or evil need to be considered any further?  In some contexts an enemy might pose a further threat and cannot be ignored.  In other cases, the "I don't think of you" approach is the moral, selfish one.

 - Jason

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