A Challenge to Ed Hudgins

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-05-15 12:10

Diana, who has a stronger stomach than I, sometimes lurks on hostile territory, whence she has sent me this post by TOC Executive Director Ed Hudgins:

___________________________________________________________________________

"I can understand why particular individuals might not want to deal with others,
based perhaps on what they see as a moral failings. Linz, who I defended on the
charges of alcoholism, might have good reason to not want to deal with Barbara.
And I can understand why some might have a more negative view of the Brandens,
And I can understand why individuals might disagree with me or others on a whole
list of things.

"But what I don't understand is the rage, anger, name-calling and obsession with
denunciations. It has to do with a profound misunderstanding about morality
sanctioning and an unrealistic, non-objective view of human beings. For example,
one can judge Nathaniel Branden harshly for how he handled his relations with
Ayn Rand and still recognize his excellent, cutting-edge work in psychology
where he applied Objectivism. One might admire the interesting thoughts and
insights of Linz, regret his name-calling and other failings and see the
situation as sad and tragic.

"There's something about the quality of will of the types who rant on other
websites that do not strike us as honest, thoughtful, prudent and balanced.
These seem to be virtues that they lack and thus aspects of the moral failings
that lead them to act as they do, failings that deserve our condemnation.

"We cannot build a society based on Objectivist principles if these virtues are
absent and if their behavior is taken to represent our principles."

_____________________________________________________________________________

Now, I know not the detailed context in which Ed posted that, and I care not to find out. I would just like to say the following to him, directly and personally:

Ed, come over here and say these things to me directly and personally. If you do, I'll ask everyone else to stay off the thread and leave it to the two of us. Just you and I. Man to man. One on one. Respectfully, in good faith.

See Ed, there's even something we could agree on, right at the outset. I, too, regret my failings and see there's a situation here that is sad and tragic. I would disagree that "name-calling" is one of my failings, since my epithets convey an accurate polemical point. But "other failings"? Hell, I'm riddled with them. (Dishonesty is most emphatically not one of them though, and you could expect vigorous disagreement from me on that one.) But I'd want to focus most attention on the situation I regard as sad and tragic.

I regard it as sad and tragic that an organisation that started out with such promise looks set to go out with such an amoral whimper. Ed, the ARI needed to be taught a lesson back in 1990. It needed someone to give it the two-fingered salute and jolt it into realising that its snotty arrogance wouldn't go for ever unchallenged. David Kelley did that. IOS was the exact breath of fresh air so many yearned for. But Ed, it's long since lost its way, and lately, any semblance of a moral compass. On the pretext of eschewing an "obsession with denunciations" it has proved willing to tolerate well-nigh anything and anyone, to the evident disgust of your former colleague Bill Perry, over whose departure TOC cloaked such risible euphemisms.

Ed, there's something I agree totally with David Kelley about—when moral condemnation is called for, it should occasion sadness, not relish. There've been a number of things that have made me sad over the last year, but none comes close to the current situation re Chris. If you regard it as resulting from an obsession with denunciations, you couldn't be more wrong. I'm in a complete funk about it, if you must know. I couldn't have been more dismayed when I saw the evidence that made me realise a painful, public break was inevitable. But it's equally true, Ed, that we cannot build an Objectivist society if folk purporting to be at the vanguard blithely shrug and turn the other way when confronted with bad faith in its myriad forms, such as smearing, lying, back-stabbing, and obfuscating or otherwise diluting the very philosophy we claim to promote. In particular, TOC's hierarchy has refused to read, let alone debate, the evidence of these vices being exercised against Objectivism's founder, presented in PARC. Rather, you have remained militantly in thrall to the perpetrators thereof, again to the evident disgust of Mr. Perry.

And Ed, while TOC has been shedding morality, ARI has lifted its game. Ed, have you seen the bright young things from ARI posting on SOLO? They're hot, Ed, and they're the future. I don't see their equivalent at TOC. Endlessly recycling veteran Rand-diminishers just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid. ARI is out there with sizzling op-ed pieces, too, Ed, while TOC seemingly slumbers, awakening occasionally to recycle an old op-ed and bring its magazine up to date. In short, ARI are running rings around TOC, Ed. But still, I see their old habits dying hard, and an ongoing need for healthy competition. Healthy, I stress, not ailing, tepid, wheezy and dissolute.

SOLO, you may be sure, will remain independent. It will judge when appropriate, and be prepared to be judged. It will remain a beacon of Objectivism with KASS for the rationally exuberant! But Ed, I would love to see TOC get back its moral testicularity and become again a force to be reckoned with. There will never again be one monolithic organisation touting reason and freedom, and that's a good thing. Different groups will have different emphases and suit different temperaments. But let's all take care to ensure that it is reason and freedom that we're touting. Open debate amongst us all is one means by which we can do that, Ed—and it is in that spirit that I invite you here to engage in just such open debate. We're both busy men, Ed, but I'll make the time if you will. You found the time, after all, to post the above at your proxy site—you're most welcome to say the same things right here to the people at whom they're directed.

We go back a ways, Ed. You personally introduced my 2004 presentation at TOC, and if I'm not mistaken you were in the audience for one of my previous ones. I appreciate that you defended me against the alcoholism charge. You added a soothing perspective on the old SOLOHQ on occasion when that was just what the doctor ordered. I bear you no ill will whatsoever, just as I believe you bear none towards me, unlike one or two of your colleagues. So let's engage. In front of the world. What harm could it do?

Cordially,

Linz


( categories: )

US allies, allies of us, Objectivist allies

William Scott Scherk's picture

A newish SOLO member (I'll call him 'Norm') asked me backchannel why I had been banned from the precincts. Golly, I said. Norm also told me the lake of threads was too daunting, too extreme, too shot through with traitorous zombies and raging moral horrors for him to put a toe in.

I tried, lamely, to explain that this is the value of SOLO. Sheer, edge of seat Objectivist Wrestling. No holds barred. Fun.

Yet to hear from New Norm on list, dang! He must be perfecting his half-nelson on other, lesser, sister sites.

In light of the threads in which hate and death figure in the titles, I wonder if Linz's invitation is worth a re-sticky. In any case, backstage acquaintance, enter SOLO. It is free-wheeling, and the champion of each thread is generally he who (or she) sums up magnificently and makes everyone feel good (only problem being these are the same threads in which beginning and middle are rife with invective and people feeling bad).

Don't be afraid to get in the ring, Norm. The punches are only virtual, and since Reason is King, the best reasoners rise from the mat and slog on.

One comes away sometimes appalled, appalled and entertained and instructed.

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome.

To your unspoken questions, do I, do we Canuckistanis view our America as an enemy, or the enemy?

A resounding no. Although we sat out Vietnam and Iraq (and Grenada and Cuba and El Salvador and so on), we go shoulder to shoulder with Great America almost always. Allies no matter who occupies whatever high state post, our nations work hand in glove in intelligence and military operations, in culture, commerce and more. We last took arms against each other in 1814.**

So, apropos of vanguished enemies and peace I salute our Chiefs:

WSS

++++++++++

** notwithstanding the Pig War.

Answering Fred's comments on Lincoln's inaugural

William Scott Scherk's picture

Twelve months later, after a ban and un-ban, still haven't got around to answering Fred Weiss. I am sorry it is so long since he has appeared here, and in knowledge that he is a very elderly man, I hope that it is not age or decrepitude that keeps him away. *

    FW: Shirk, Shrek, or whatever your name is,
    since keeping context seems to be one of your
    biggest problems, maybe someone should point
    out to you that Lincoln's magnanimity to the
    South was that of a victor over an enemy that
    his forces had just *totally destroyed*.

This is the context, Fred, and acknowledged fully in my postings in this thread. A further context is "Enemies." I did hear, blithe forest child I am, that that war ended with a surrender. Whether this is "total destruction" I leave to historians. Total destruction of the idea of "Confederate States of America," sure. Total destruction of the Peculiar Institution, sure. And I take your implied point that one can only make peace when the other has sued for it.

But we are neither here in a thread of US war history, nor considering what to do with the remnants of a vanquished enemy who are not dead on the battlefield . . . if you understand what I mean.

Your own close reading of US Civil War history will remind you that Lincoln was severely chastised for his treatment of the Southern gentry and military classes.

But it does my heart good, and re-establishes my great admiration for him and for your people in the war's aftermath -- every time I read his epitaphs as below.++ Such was his reasoning in the face of people who wanted the war to continue after the war was over.

Once the war was over, what to do with the "Enemies"? -- Lincoln's challenge, and the challenge for America ever since. What to do with the 'totally destroyed' enemy, Fred?

    FW: The South was a complete wreck. You've heard of
    Sherman's March to the Sea?

Yes, it's on the Internet and you have mentioned it apropos of nothing, in every post in which you need to show your chatty warmonger side.

    FW: Do they teach that in Canada?

No, "They" don't teach that up here, in my experience. The American Civil War is of minor interest up here; it doesn't have much relevance to Canadians, except to answer the question, "What does America do to its former enemies?"

Canadians (except for the brief time when we burned your White House under British command, or expelled your forces from Ontario and Quebec) are staunch, permanent allies of the United States and its people, having fought alongside the US in all its modern wars save Vietnam and Iraq, Cuba and Grenada and so on.

Although we are shot through with 'enemy' qualities (French, socialist, smug, fat, stupid, poor, unenlightened, Scottish, Irish, Metis, aboriginal), since 1814 we have never been threatened with military force by your government . . .

    FW: And if you are so friggin' concerned about
    "the ick factor", do you have any idea how
    many men perished in The Civil War? Do you
    know what they were fighting for? Do you know
    that the principles involved were so deeply
    and passionately held that brothers fought
    brothers over them?

Yes, to all three questions. But you have not grasped what I mean by the 'ick factor': I mean always "the ick factor of Objectivism."

    Golly gee, how could people be willing to
    fight and die for their ideals like that?

It is called War and/or a Military Code of honour and obligation. It is often unstated, but if you don't carry out orders, you tend to be shot by your superiors for treason or desertion.

     Sigh. Why can't people just learn to be kind
    and play nice?

People do learn, Fred, people like Lincoln, people like George Wallace or Lindsay Perigo, people like the former enemy Vietnamese, even people whom you consider idiots and morons and enemies today.

Even the unutterable scum the French play daily and nicely with America, having bound it closely in mutual-defence pacts and innumerable points of history and common action.

Golly, in my ignorant backwoods, half-french socialist scumbag way . . . I consider America my country's greatest friend and ally, and would fight against any credible threat to its continued existence, or against its impoverishment and dismemberment.

If you ever get a chance, visit the Peach Arch in Blaine Washington, and see how America and Canada valourize their common heritage and deeply-shared values despite the 3000 miles of dotted lines between us.

Like many Canadians, Fred -- after 9/11, before finding out if any of my relatives had died in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, I wept in horror and impotence. Not just for any dead of my extended family, nor just for the thousands of American innocent dead, but for my very own people, the rough hundred Canucks terminated that day in those towers and planes and in the field . . .

And I wept for what it could possibly mean to America, beyond the shock and horror. I feared that Americans would let their government abuse them in the name of a war against 9/11's instigators. Abuse America's good name, abuse America's high moral standing.

And when I saw and read reports of Abu Ghraib, I wept again: not for the prisoners at all, but for America.

How on earth would such photos and tales of government-directed humiliation of captives raise America high in the world? America, whose ideals of Liberty still ring strong and true in my mind and in that of so many of those in world who love, respect and fear her.

Imagine, Fred, a horrible terror attack on a border US city. My country would respond instantly with aid and troops and individual offers of whatever the suffering might need. We would seal our skies, open our borders to the injured, and do our utmost practical best to help our first ally and its wounded citizens.

This is a part of a vaunted Canadian 'niceness' and 'kindness' and 'getting along' that you have seen before and will see again. This is why Canada fights on with the Allies in Afghanistan today.

Of course, Fred -- being wise and old and tough-minded -- you realize that 'learning to be kind' is difficult for some people.

Some either have known and modeled only hysteria, violence, and reaction -- or may have never felt the internal glimmerings of empathy and compassion that define humanity at its best (like Temple Grandin, star Autist, some don't have and cannot ever easily aquire common empathy, but must be taught to recognize it and what it means to those who feel it).

Learning to be kind, moreover, is not at all related to "being nice" in this instance or in any single other issue you have raised in association in this thread.

To put a line under my intentions in responding to Joe Maurone with the Lincoln quotes . . . I like/liked Joe Maurone, and felt bad for him in this thread.

I wanted him to understand that in my suite of values, family, friends and lovers will always be considered at least as important as a 'principle.

And so, I asked Joe to consider that the principles enumerated in the first Lincoln epigraphs were worth considering -- in the context of the thread, in the context of 'pounding the shit out of one's enemies,' and in relation to me, personally. Rather than continue in suspicion and hard-heartedness, I wanted Joe to consider that though he may hate, despise, revile, reproach and reject me as an enemy, it would be a good idea to consider, "I don't like Scherk. I must get to know him better."

Since Joe disdained and dislikes me, it was not possible at the time for him to consider good faith, perhaps. It seemed to me at the time that Joe had no use for reconciliation with me, nor that he would consider its value. That part was fine. I failed. No one died.

But I got banned for my trouble, and I still do not understand why.

Better question for you, Fred, staunch ally of reason, staunch ally of Canada: "Why can't you learn?"

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now, no one of your great age can be imagined 'flouncing,' and I don't believe you formally announced your departure from SOLO. Too bad. You leave me the last word . . .

: - )

The quotes attributed to Lincoln are among my quides to life. I have no use for invoking the connotations of 'enemies' and using it on people and in situations that do NOT deserve the epithet. I could never cheapen the word to consider any of you here, for example -- even the most personally-insulting like Casey Fahy or Robert Winefield -- as an enemy of mine.

Those, however, who feel themselves to be my enemy are subject of concern. And if ever I seem to hate somebody, it is best for me to recall these touchstones afresh:

++ 'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?'

'He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.'

'I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.'
-- attributed to Abraham Lincoln

Come back, Fred! Although you have made of me an 'enemy,' I think you have a very useful place here under the SOLO Three Ring extravaganza.



WSS

* I was sincere in offering Fred a picture to indemnify and glamourize his SOLO output, and put him under the same regime as the rest of us. He had said that he was too vain, old and likely to scare the horses. I doubt it. Nothing but nothing scares Objectivist horses . . .

This came up ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... on the list of things recently viewed. I took a look & decided to resticky for a couple of reasons. One being that it illustrates how KASS Cathcart has gotten since this time :-); the other being that Penelope Beach turned out to be a fraud. There *is* a Penelope Beach. It's a beach, not the genuine name of a poster to SOLO. Randroids can be as cowardly as Brandroids, clearly.

Linz

To Chris Cathcart

Penelope's picture

Well, gee, I'm guess I'm left with the explanation that actually fits: He's approaching Rand from a up-till-then unique point of emphasis (well, not especially unique, given Peikoff's UO course). I'm not saying I agree with how the whole thing is dressed up, but I'm looking at the substance of his thesis. He's emphasizing Rand's ideas in a certain way to show his audience -- largely academics, yes -- that for studying Rand there's the need for a new way, an alternative to how the anal-ytical mainstream has been doing things. I feel like I keep repeating myself with this, but there it is.

Aren't you violating CS's own categorial imperative and failing to keep context? You can't take one element of a work--its alleged purpose--and ignore how CS goes about that purpose. Maybe maybe mabye its legitimate to tell analytical philosophers there is a different way to approach Rand, but that doesn't mean any approach is valid.

Gotta admit, I don't know too much about Chris Sciabarra and I really don't care to. Gotta admit, I'm not even that concerned with the details of the drama he caused for Diane Hsieh. But gotta admit, if you look at Sciabarra's work as a whole, and keep in mind what he said, and how he carried it out (and what kind of vicious nonsense he often publishes in his journal to boot), to evaluate him as anything other than an enemy of Objectivism is, in my ever so humble opinion, a function either of evasion or of severe but honest blindness and confusion.

Well, keep chewing it.

Fred Weiss's picture

Well, keep chewing it. You'll work it out for yourself eventually.

You may find this presumptuous, but I predict that you will eventually find that "dialectics" is an epistemological dead end in terms of understanding AR. Yes, by all means, she must be contrasted and compared with previous philosophers and her integrated and radical "world-view" approach does in fact compare with Hegel and Marx. There is that undeniable similarity - whereas her "this worldliness", empiricism, and commitment to reason connects her with Aristotle.

But in my view the integrating thread in that comparison and contrast has nothing whatever to do with dialectics. It is an attempt to unify a principle by inessentials and was entirely manufactured by Sciabarra
for reasons having nothing to do with promoting a better understanding of Objectivism. To whatever extent it touches on true identifications about Objectivism, it is gratuitous excess baggage which doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know.

the question/answer

Chris Cathcart's picture

Fred:

Look, answer this simple question. Can you fully and accurately describe what AR is doing without resorting to the inherently confusing concept of "dialectics", especially given its historical baggage? For another thing, I've yet to see a clear definition of it.

Yes, I think that it could be done, though I think CMS's thesis has helped facilitate a more focused discussion on historical and methodological roots. I think it gives us a better and more informed vantage point from which to assess thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, Marx and all the other mainstream anal-yticals (Hume, Kant, etc.), and why Rand stands in such marked contrast to just about all but Aristotle. It establishes a better context for placing Rand within the history of ideas, which I think helps to better understand her radicalism.

By way of an addendum,

Fred Weiss's picture

By way of an addendum, dialectics in contrast is essential in understanding Socrates/Plato. It is central to their methodology. You understand why that wouldn't be the case as much with Aristotle? Aristotle didn't think that the answers to questions were "already there" - in a certain sense, already in our minds - and we thus just had to get to them by a process of skillful questioning. Apparently that approach was taught by Aristotle as part of his curriculum. But is it central to his unique approach to philosophy, to what he saw as the way that we acquired knowledge? I don't think so. That in fact was *the difference* between Aristotelianism and Platonism.

"You can't understand

Fred Weiss's picture

"You can't understand Aristotle or Rand properly through the methodological lens of the modern anal-ytical mainstream."

True, of course. But you still haven't explained how "dialectics" contributes to that better understanding. You keep bringing Aristotle into this. How do you see "dialectics" as even essential to an understanding of him?

Anyway, as I get down to you last comments, you've once again answered your own question. Fine to use me as sounding board, but obviously you can do most of this on your own.

Look, answer this simple question. Can you fully and accurately describe what AR is doing without resorting to the inherently confusing concept of "dialectics", especially given its historical baggage? For another thing, I've yet to see a clear definition of it.

You don't like "Friendly

Fred Weiss's picture

You don't like "Friendly Freddy"? Sigh.

The other alternative, you know, is one you came up with (or was it Gordon, on HPO) a few years ago, "Weissel" as a play on weasel, when you used to think I was ducking your questions.

But Mr. Wolf - or whatever his name is - has suggested some other lovely possibilities in the spirit of his theme of "POLITENESS and DIPLOMACY". Herewith a list (all from one amazing post):

HEY, IDIOT!

Mr. Dumberer

dumbkof

Furious Freddy

Freddy Krueger

Fred Flint

And my 2 favorites:

'knife-fingers' Freddy

Freddy-5-fingers

Fred Wiseass

Chris Cathcart's picture

Hey, not a bad nickname. Unlike "Wiseguy," it does have the virtue of retaining the double-S's.

I could see Fred embracing that nickname quite gladly.

the point

Chris Cathcart's picture

Fred:

"I don't know exactly why CMS chose to go along with calling his project 'dialectics'."

Well, that's the question, isn't it? You say, well, ol' Chris doesn't mean Hegelian or Marxist dialectics. He wants to return it to its Aristotelian roots. So what exactly is that - and what is the great importance of "dialectics" in Aristotle such that one would latch onto that one particular thing and import it into Objectivism?

It's "a project of fundamental questioning and challenging", you say. Is that the essence of Objectivism? AR is a good arguer?

Then once again you acknowledge everything Chris says can be "reconstructed to avoid the jargon". So, why have the jargon in the first place? And if you strip away the jargon, what is left? AR is radical. Well, gee. Great insight. AR is a system builder, integrating wide abstractions into a single whole. We knew that. Tell us something we didn't know. It's important to keep context in Objectivism. We didn't need Sciabarra to tell us that.

So, if it wasn't to impress Ollman, et al, what's the point?

Well, gee, I'm guess I'm left with the explanation that actually fits: He's approaching Rand from a up-till-then unique point of emphasis (well, not especially unique, given Peikoff's UO course). I'm not saying I agree with how the whole thing is dressed up, but I'm looking at the substance of his thesis. He's emphasizing Rand's ideas in a certain way to show his audience -- largely academics, yes -- that for studying Rand there's the need for a new way, an alternative to how the anal-ytical mainstream has been doing things. I feel like I keep repeating myself with this, but there it is.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Your original assertion is that there was distortion of Rand going on, but you seem to be aiming your criticism at things other than that -- that he wasn't being original, or that he's using unnecessary jargon, or that he's doing it with impressing certain people in mind.

I mentioned Peikoff's UO course. Maybe his DIM work, if/when it's published, is a systematized presentation of the ideas he explored in UO. But without having such a book published, there was something of a void in the published world, on viewing Objectivism from the perspective that Peikoff approaches it in UO. (Perhaps you hadn't heard, but CMS considers UO to be Peikoff's most important course.) RR was important as a way of trying to fill that void, of approaching Objectivism from a certain perspective and emphasis as a way of understanding how she practices philosophy. And he's doing it by pointing to a historical context -- the history of philosophy and ideas. IOW, he's exploring in an area that hadn't up till then received the kind of exploration it deserved. For me, it provided a missing piece of the puzzle that I just hadn't yet pieced together with other great sources (UO, L&N) at my disposal. I don't even have to approve of a whole lot about RR to know that it was instrumental in spurring my thoughts in a certain way.

For UO, it was Objectivism without the Aristotle discussion; for L&N it was Aristotelianism without as much methodological emphasis that would tie Aristotelianism specifically to Rand; and for RR, it was a link tying Rand to her historical roots in Aristotle and how it provides for a radical departure from modern mainstream method and approach to inquiry. Up until Rand, the explicit methodological emphasis was only implicit and imperfect in Aristotle, and had been hijacked by Marx/Hegel with no rational voice to counter it. Sciabarra was providing an explicit discussion of methodology and historical roots that with Rand and UO was only implicit or brief at best. I don't think the available published Objectivist work relating to Aristotle (save for the discussion of universals in ITOE; the only at-length treatment besides that is "published" in Peikoff's history of philosophy lectures) quite helped to get to the root of the issue; he was upheld as a good example but ultimately too weak. The question was as to why. And the answer is, he wasn't fully and radically consistent with a right methodology. But that methodology hadn't been explicitly identified and worked on until Marx/Hegel, in still yet another disastrous way. But you can't understand Aristotle or Rand properly through the methodological lens of the modern anal-ytical mainstream. The proper way is one that, in point of fact, resembles the methodological approach of Marx/Hegel -- but differs in fundamental respects that require explicit spelling-out.

Actually, I don't know if RR does a satisfactory job of that, or whether his his emphasis is too much on the similarities with Marx/Hegel contra the modern mainstream. The emphasis really needs to be on the similarities to Aristotle and why Aristotle was tremendous but didn't quite live up to the methdological rigor, but for reasons that Aristotle just didn't see in his time but a limited number of modern thinkers have, Rand being one of them. The RR thesis is a major step in explicitly tying the two together. However, I think there is more work to be done and with a more properly central point of emphasis -- which is what my "Integration adn Unity" paper is pointing toward. And per GS's discussion, there is more work to be done still, and more proper emphasis to be had still, by tying the emphasis on context and integration with hierarchy and reduction. That looks like a valid criticism of RR -- that it was too limited in its scope of emphasis. I don't see that as constituting a distortion, though. It just means that there's more work to be done. I see RR as a force in spurring on that needed work. Indeed, I thank you for pointing me to GS's remarks as they brought up a point (re: hierarchy and reduction) that I hadn't seen up to this point. Come to think of it, that does play an integral role, just as much as context and integration do, in Peikoff's UO course. I need somehow to re-acquire the UO lecture course (damn, wish the thing were print-published!) for another go-through . . .

Plus, Linz, he provides us

Fred Weiss's picture

Plus, Linz, he provides us with an excellent example of what he advocates, "POLITENESS and DIPLOMACY" - with a little extra emphasis added for effect "you self-blinded asshole!".

Just a couple of small points.

He asks, in response to my query "what has Kelley done of any note since 'Evidence of the Senses'?" Well, one can ask, book-wise, the same about Peikoff since 'Ominous Parallels' (spare me his 'editings'), no?"

I think OPAR might qualify as sparing you.

On more substantive matters, he notes that "Freddy has a prob with the term-use of "benevolence, civiliy [sic], generosity" re the the 'context' he complains about (but does NOT explicate)"

Why, yes, the the (sic) context being when they are elevated into primary virtues and not properly grounded in their root virtue, namely, justice.

My favorite though is this, "Dear Freddy Krueger ends that post with *my* type of post-ending question (which started his post re which I'm responding to), to wit: "Do you seriously regard either of these works [Truth and Toleration & Unrugged Individualism] as consistent with Objectivism?" AND, he then adds a 2nd question, as well: "Do you think Ayn Rand would have agreed with and endorsed them?"

~~ That 2nd question of his is a v-e-r-y 'loaded' question, if you think about it. Rand just may not have."

Ya think? So we agree that those two works are not in accord with Objectivism?

He adds, "SO WHAT? Well, Randroids would say "So...THERE!" --- Correct me if I'm wrong. If they wouldn't, what rhetorical-point the question? Anyhoo, clearly THIS is the mentality/mind-set 'independent' minds have to deal with in arguing? Wonder what Roark would think?"

Roark would think that one should be honest and not call what one is doing Objectivism if in fact it is not Objectivism.

Friendly Freddy

You don't have to do it on

Fred Weiss's picture

You don't have to do it on my behalf, dear Linz.

I *like* this sort of thing.

It's good to see some KASS from our opponents. It's certainly better than watching their head-patting, walking on egg shells hug fests. "Oh, golly gee, did I hurt your feelings? I'm soooo sorry. Will you ever forgive me?"

Plus it was very funny. Really.

And you know how I love name-calling.

Friendly Freddy

Moderated ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... as per your own sensible recommendation.

Oh My !

Rowlf's picture

LINDSAY PERIGNO:

~~ Am really sorry you decided to make this publicly auspicious 'welcome' to me, Mr. Perigno. This IS the 1st response you've given me ('twixt SOLOHQ and here.)

~~ Ok: you (as others; understandable, believe it or not) find my parentheticals and compound sentencing 'style' (not to mention quote-marks, use-of-B-I-U), as 'squiggles and ...epilepsy inducing hieroglyphics' to be annoying...to you.

 ~~ Take a hint, Linz: DON'T READ them! (or, any other posts you find 'annoying'.)

~~ I know little about about the 'ins-and-outs' re all this web-log/forum stuff, especially the 'decision-making' territory, but, I'm quite sure you read nothing other than what you have 'flags' for, or are specifically/personally interested in. After all, you can't have the time to read ALL that's posted. You have 'priority'-methodologies in place. Why you found *my* posts worth 'publicly' commenting on, I'm not sure (but, I'm acquiring ideas; methinks others also are.)

~~ You regard me as a 'dysfunctional Brandroid' (regardless my posted comments re both Brandens.)

~~ You regard me as 'obviously unhinged.'  At this point, I'll not say how I regard you.

~~ "Dissent & debate are encouraged here..." --- Yes; you certainly make that clear...in your post to me.

~~ "...but deranged, bestial drooling is O-Lying's specialty. Why not give it a whirl?" --- And to think that *I* was one of the 1st to question the worth of Clairbourne's post, as well as Barbaras's support, re that noted "Drooling Beast" article you allowed to be posted! Silly me, I guess.

~~ I take it that by 'O-Lying' you're condescendingly referring to 'Objectivist Living', and, ergo, 'why don't I go there?' --- Posted there already; hadn't you noticed? If you had, you ought to be aware of what I've argued there...on whose behalf.

~~ Ntl, rather than 'hinting', why don't you just ask me to stop posting here? Say the word, and I shall.

J-D

P.S: I'll take being put on 'Moderated' as 'the word.'

P.P.S: Oh, the 'word' is "stop" or "bye" or any equivalent to "Get Lost, M-F."

Oh dear!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Another dysfunctional Brandroid. "Rowlf"—your squiggles and other epilepsy-inducing hieroglyphics are seriously annoying. Your being so obviously unhinged is seriously disconcerting. Might I suggest you try O-Lying, where they're all either in therapy or in need of it (and all big fans of it)? Dissent & debate are encouraged here, but deranged, bestial drooling is O-Lying's specialty. Why not give it a whirl?

Linz

(While Waiting for Ed...) ->FRED'S a worthwhile guy!

Rowlf's picture

Lance:

~~ Interesting.

~~ All I did was 'comment' on HIS 'quotes.'

~~ You got your perspective.

~~ I've now acquired mine.

~~ (May I suggest you re-read what *he* commented about *moi*'s post?)

LLAP
J:D

I don't follow, Rowlf

Lanza Morio's picture

Oh, I dunno Rowlf. Fred seems like a solid guy to me. He keeps on point. He's clear and focused. Seems to know and live by Objectivist principles. Judging by his posts at SOLO Fred doesn't match the guy in your rant.

'Jack Bauer', some here aren't

Rowlf's picture

~~ Fred Weiss (definitely not to be confused with 'Wise') commented...about moi's closing challenging question: "I ask you: would Roark, or Dagny, or even Rand be bothered doing this?" with:

  "Rand certainly did. In fact her moral judging of people is one of the very things that pseudo-Objectivists find her [to be opposed to, I presume] and consider a dispensable aspect of Objectivism, "  insinuating that I argued  "this", and that I'm therefore anti-judging...not to mention my being a 'pseudo-O'ist'. Clearly he only skimmed my post rather than actually (can one say 'rationally'?) read it. Such are the sources of unnecessary conflicts: a responder's not paying attention to the actual content of what the other has ACTUALLY said. --- Fred has shown a bit of a penchant for such responses.

~~ Fred innuends that I'm a 'pseudo-Objectivist' and that I 'find most distasteful [Rand's moral judging of people]' and that re such that I 'consider a dispensable aspect of Objectivism.'

~~ Further, I supposedly 'claim that this is one of the reasons that Objectivism has difficulty being accepted in the culture'. --- Damn! I don't remember (or...FIND ON PAST POSTS!) arguing this idiotic straw-man crap. Would anyone please send me a quote? I must've been in a 'Sybil' mode or something...or...Fred's reading someone else's posts and mixing ROWLF up with ROXY.

~~ Then, as has seemed lately apropos for ARI-'defenders', Fred gets downright 'personal' (apparently he tried on my generic shoe, found it too tight, and...off we go!): He says (to me, if I'm not misinterpreting his diplomatic missive) "...it is almost unimaginable that you even read The Fountainhead" and rambles on insinuating that I argue (or EVER DID) for 'compromise' or even hinted that Roark ought to have.

~~ HEY, IDIOT! If *I* was the type to ever argue for that, I not only wouldn't have ever finished reading The Fountainhead, I wouldn't even be reading your ignorant shit which does NO justice to Roark...or Rand! ---Pardon my non-diplomacy there...self-styled egghead.

~~ Finishing re Roark, my 'question' which you belabourdley expounded upon its ASS-U-MEd innuended pointlessness, was implying "how much TIME did he spend 'arguing' against the likes of Toohey?" - Does "But I don't think [or write/talk/etc] about you" ring a bell? --- In *your* case, probably not.

~~ Fred goes on (as is his wont), "As for Dagny and Rearden 'bothering to do this', do you know what the sanction of the victim is? Or that it is a major them of Atlas?" --- I'm tempted to say "Atlas who?" to this dumbkof; but, as Socrates would say...I won't. (Aside: I don't remember mentioning Rearden...or Aesop...or Paglia...or...well...[Orwell?] that's Fred, I guess.) --- "Sanction of the Victim" has NOTHING to do with my post...you self-blinded asshole! It's about POLITENESS and DIPLOMACY, (I believe that Rand used the term 'Respect') Mr. Dumberer; not about avoiding-line-drawing. It's about Thinking-Twice about withdrawing whatever degree (and yes, there ARE 'degrees') of, to repeat,  RESPECT.  Cripes! --- Catch those italics Mr. Know-It-All? See? I have read something Rand wrote.

~~ THEN, Friendly Freddy generically classifies moi as follows: "It's really outrageous how fucking sanctimonous [?! Uh, really? Pot? Kettle?] these pseudo-Objectivists [I don't recall ever calling myself an Objectivist; will someone clue me in?] get about this as if they are upholding some principle of Objectivism when in fact they are thoroughly undermining it!" --- I don't recall ''upholding'' whichever 'it', in the post Fred Friendly refers to. Indeed, I think it's absolutely fucking ridiculous how much Righteousness is expended on complaints by some (ahem) posters about other posters!

~~ Interestingly, Furious Freddy never actually, in all his rantings, actually IDENTIFIES (an important term in O'ism vocab, as we all know) just what the 'this' is that he refers to re my previous post; no quote (other than the opening one of his post, which is a quoting of the LAST line of mine) of my ACTUAL 'arguments' even exists in his as-of-late rottweiler-rabid anti-questioners tour-de-force. --- Unfortunate.

~~ I must admit that I resent this irrational 'smear' of me. I here put it 'on record.'

~~ Since I'm talking specifically about Furious Freddy, let me add some more...'notes'...to this medley. Freddy stresses across 2 posts: "...what has Kelley done of any note since 'Evidence of the Senses'?" Well, one can ask, book-wise, the same about Peikoff since 'Ominous Parallels' (spare me his 'editings'), no?  But, I'm not that...myopically picayune. I'm no more privy to the difficulties re organizational-management problems...and their time consumption...re one or the other (ARI/TOC, get my drift?), hence not ready to challenge either with "SO? Where's your next book, lardass?" --- The implied attitude advertises itself as quite moronic...well...except for morons, I guess.

 

~~ Re "Unrugged Individualism", poor Freddy "...literally couldn't read it." (May I suggest, akin to the innuended one about moi's re-reading The Fountainhead, 1st start out with Dick-and-Jane-and-Spot; then work up.) Yes, I have probs with it too, but, they're argumentative (which Fred hints that nothing thereupon exists), not unreadableness. Freddy has a prob with the term-use of "benevolence, civiliy [sic], generosity" re the the 'context' he complains about (but does NOT explicate) they're being "clearly intended as 'anti-concepts' [what a handy term for Randroids! Kinda like 'rationality', or...'logic'] to undermine the concept of justice..." --- R-i-g-h-t ---- Ironically, Dear Freddy Krueger ends that post with *my* type of post-ending question (which started his post re which I'm responding to), to wit: "Do you seriously regard either of these works [Truth and Toleration & Unrugged Individualism] as consistent with Objectivism?" AND, he then adds a 2nd question, as well: "Do you think Ayn Rand would have agreed with and endorsed them?"

~~ That 2nd question of his is a v-e-r-y 'loaded' question, if you think about it. Rand just may not have. SO WHAT? Well, Randroids would say "So...THERE!" --- Correct me if I'm wrong. If they wouldn't, what rhetorical-point the question? Anyhoo, clearly THIS is the mentality/mind-set 'independent' minds have to deal with in arguing? Wonder what Roark would think?

 

~~ Chris Cathart writes a lengthy post explicating his view of Sciabarra's view re 'dialectics' as relevent to Aristotle and Rand. What does 'knife-fingers' Freddy have to 'substantively' say? -> "...wtf does the concept of 'dialectics' contribute to any of this? [re, quote Chris S: "Rand, of course, in the tradition of Aristotle, says that there are no contradictions to be synthesized"]" --- I suspect that Freddy-5-fingers never read The Russian Radical...and is advertising that he knows not whereof he speaks.

~~ It's become obvious that too many who have either not read or only skimmed CS's TRR have latched onto the term 'dialectics' as an anathema term of O'ism. 'What self-made myopia!' is all I can say. Consider: NO ONE has really 'argued' the pros/cons about his thesis! NO ONE! Yet all take a position...with no arguments backing them up! Cripes! MAYBE it is all 'Polish' smoke-and-mirrors, regardless CS sees it that way or not; ntl, no-one-has-made-that-case. Hello? So, why are the 'anti's taking the position that 'it's "obvious" that CS's thesis is ignorable? I mean, if it is, why keep repeating that? In short, where's the actual 'discussion' about IT rather than HIM? --- Clearly, not in the 'intellectual' circles of Fred Wiseass.

~~ Fred Flint, in a next post, then quotes Sciabarra's attempted explanation of what CS means by 'dialectics' in a broader vein than was used by Hegel/Marx; a, granted, long-explication (not to be confused with 'definition'...especially in the Aristotelian/O'ist sense) it was. And Fred cynically ends with the question: "Err...Chris...you mean 'think'...using logic"? --- Ostensibly, this IS what all such boils down to; I have no doubt that Chris would agree. However, cynically questioning using the terms 'think' and 'logic' as if they were constant across all contexts (ie: 'absolute')...is...acting mentally-retarded, if trying to make some polemical point (even politicians know better!); check the dictionary re the different 'contextual' meanings of both terms. Cripes! ---  So...why the 'apparent' verbiage in explaining what he meant? Hello? Ever try to 'explain' what 'logic' is all about...to those who yet need to CONSCIOUSLY learn about it's basics? --- Re-phrase, rather, re-'think': ever try to 'explain' how to tie shoelaces...to someone who never did it? Ever try to 'teach' something to someone totally unfamiliar with the subject? Ever find that you need a 'new' perspective to get something across to another (this is for those concerned with actual rational 'explaining', not to be confused with re-quoting)? --- I think that Freddy is missing something re how to understand another's POV; unfortunately, he's advertising that 'missing'ness...quite-a-lot. ---Sure, some call it 'Polish'. I DO understand that...perspective...about 'academic jargonese'. I just don't see it as all that much a subjec, per se; few amongst us are not familiar with military/scientific jargonese. It's only a worthy complaint-'subject' to the extent that it's superfluous. Sorry; I see CS's useage as non-superfluous. *I* don't have a prob with CS's writing-style. Why the fuck do all you other complainers have it? THAT really perplexes me. How many of these 'complainers' have really read Shakespeare's plays (and I shan't mention others')? I mean, check the jargon. Ya got complaints about the 'Polish'? Well, guess it's time to read no more, huh? (Jeez! Don't pick up a book by Stephen Hawking!)

~~ Anyhoo, all I can end up with here is: I hope ARI has better 'unofficial' SUPPORTERS than seems to be showing up now. 'Cause if the likes of Freddy Krueger (and friends?) who has no prob getting 'personal' with...not necessarily 'disagreers'...but even 'Questioners' about "Would Rand/Dagny/etc rant on, and on, and on....and (ad infinatum) about 'X'?" (Like, as Fred implies, "Sure they would: they DID!" - yeah, r-i-g-h-t; they sure did; idiot), then ARI has more to worry about within its 'ranks' than outsiders like TOC/SOLO/OL/WE(aka WhatEver).

LLAP
J:D  -- a 'Randite'

P.S: To paraphrase Gump: "Respect is given, as respect is gotten."

"I don't know exactly why

Fred Weiss's picture

"I don't know exactly why CMS chose to go along with calling his project 'dialectics'."

Well, that's the question, isn't it? You say, well, ol' Chris doesn't mean Hegelian or Marxist dialectics. He wants to return it to its Aristotelian roots. So what exactly is that - and what is the great importance of "dialectics" in Aristotle such that one would latch onto that one particular thing and import it into Objectivism?

It's "a project of fundamental questioning and challenging", you say. Is that the essence of Objectivism? AR is a good arguer?

Then once again you acknowledge everything Chris says can be "reconstructed to avoid the jargon". So, why have the jargon in the first place? And if you strip away the jargon, what is left? AR is radical. Well, gee. Great insight. AR is a system builder, integrating wide abstractions into a single whole. We knew that. Tell us something we didn't know. It's important to keep context in Objectivism. We didn't need Sciabarra to tell us that.

So, if it wasn't to impress Ollman, et al, what's the point?

Peter and Fred

Chris Cathcart's picture

Few points:

1. Keep in mind that I was actually pointing out the difference between a Hegelian/Marxian style "dialectic" and the one that CMS advocates as a return to Aristotelian roots.

2. It's no secret that Rand herself abhorred "dialectics" which, in her day, was so closely associated with Marxist ideas. I don't know exactly why CMS chose to go along with calling his project "dialectics" in light of this, knowing the kind of opposition he'd get, but I thought it was clear that he was making a claim contra the mainstream of modern philosophy, that Marx and Hegel were onto something correct in terms of what they were against (dualism in mainstream anal-ytical philosophy), just that they perverted and misapplied what would otherwise be a sound (Aristotelian) alternative. But it's safe to say that this alternative is radical no matter how you look at it.

3. I don't share Fred's assessment as to CMS's motives. Rather than trying to appeal to some consensus of opinion, it's actually attacking it -- actually two different consensi, the mainstream anal-ytical and the totalitarian dialectics of the Marxian community. It's a project of fundamental questioning and challenging, even though I'm not fond of the hifalutin' jargon. I think that Chris's basic thesis can at least be reconstructed to avoid the jargon as well as reaffirm in no uncertain terms the Aristotelian roots and oppose in no uncertain terms the Marxian/Hegelian perversion. The closest approximation to that sort of reconstruction that I can think of is Liberty and Nature, which doesn't even use the hifalutin' terminology of "dialectics".

Trinity

JoeM's picture

Fred, that's it!

That's it, and the reason I ask is the same as quoting the dialectic passages. I'm sure Chris is aware of this passage...wondering how his theory of triads, tied into his theory of dialectics, squares against Rand's use of the idea. It's not as if she was totally ignorant of these ideas, and was obviously opposed to them.
Didn't help that it was Toohey that said that, either.

For Joe M.

Fred Weiss's picture

Joe, is this the reference in Fountainhead about the trinity you were looking for?

"Actually, Ellsworth, it was Dominique who invited you. I didn't ask her to. You're our first formal guest. I think that's wonderful. My wife and my best friend. I've always had the silly idea that you two didn't like each other. God knows where I get those notions. But this is what makes me so damn happy—the three of us, together."

"Then you don't believe in mathematics, do you, Peter?" said Toohey. "Why the surprise? Certain figures in combination have to give certain results. Granting three entities such as Dominique, you and I—this had to be the inevitable sum."

"They say three's a crowd," laughed Keating. "But that's bosh. Two are better than one, and sometimes three are better than two, it all depends."

"The only thing wrong with that old cliché," said Toohey, "is the erroneous implication that 'a crowd' is a term of opprobrium. It is quite the opposite. As you are so merrily discovering. Three, I might add, is a mystic key number. As for instance, the Holy Trinity. Or the triangle, without which we would have no movie industry. There are so many variations upon the triangle, not necessarily unhappy. Like the three of us—with me serving as understudy for the hypotenuse, quite an appropriate substitution, since I'm replacing my antipode, don't you think so, Dominique?"

Tests

AdamReed's picture

Mike: "That paragraph looks like the BS I write on tests when I don't know the answer."

Shhh, Mike, don't give away the secret. As long as students don't know that teachers know this, I can at least tell which ones have a clue and which ones don't. If they all wrote like Linz, how would I ever be able to tell?

jibba-jabba

Mike_M's picture

"What is dialectics? Dialectics is a species of the genus, methodological (or research) orientation. A methodological orientation is an intellectual disposition that applies a specific set of broad ontological and epistemological propositions about objects of study and their typical relationships to a particular field of investigation. Dialectics is a formal structure of analytical tools that enables us to undertake a systematic course of action so as to achieve a particular goal, namely, the correct understanding and transformation of reality. Dialectics is an orientation toward contextual analysis of the systemic and dynamic relations of components of a structured totality."

Translation: Dialectics is a method that yields a correct understanding of reality. Dialectics is a method that emphasizes context. Context means how ideas relate to each other.

This is the "gibberish" part of my "arbitrary gibberish" label. That entire paragraph, which is supposed to answer a question that is crucial to understanding the book, amounts to a big fat nothing. All he says in that paragraph is "Dialectics means keeping context. Context means relating ideas to other ideas." If dialectics is what he outlines in that paragraph, every philosopher I've had to study over the past three years of college is a dialectician. That paragraph looks like the BS I write on tests when I don't know the answer.

Wotta Lotta Rotta ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... all that Polish is. Wank, wank!

Thanks for the reminders, Fred.

Trinity

JoeM's picture

Fred, do you have the reference in Fountainhead about the trinity, mystical number three, and father, son and holy ghost?

I also love this one - from

Fred Weiss's picture

I also love this one - from the same Sciabarra article (see below)

"What is dialectics? Dialectics is a species of the genus, methodological (or research) orientation. A methodological orientation is an intellectual disposition that applies a specific set of broad ontological and epistemological propositions about objects of study and their typical relationships to a particular field of investigation. Dialectics is a formal structure of analytical tools that enables us to undertake a systematic course of action so as to achieve a particular goal, namely, the correct understanding and transformation of reality. Dialectics is an orientation toward contextual analysis of the systemic and dynamic relations of components of a structured totality."

Err...Chris...you mean "think...using logic"?

I think Chris C. has hit the

Peter Cresswell's picture

I think Chris C. has hit the target (ie., Chris Drunk with his Aristotelian discussion of dialectics, specifically this comment:
"Transcending dualisms" really isn't the right way to state the matter in any event. Rand's whole approach is such that there aren't any dualisms that arise to be "transcended" to begin with."

That seems to be it, doesn't it? Case closed. Too much of the 'context-keeping' of ex-Objectivist dialectitics seems to be no more than wool-gathering designed to avoid coming to a conclusion. And too much of the theory seems as unnecessary and misguided as Chris C's observation makes plain that it is.

And Gordon Prescott -- sorry, Gordon L. Prescott: His architectural commentary is as pellucid as that of too many post-modern practitioners in today's architecture schools -- indeed, sadly indistinguishable from them. My own favourite lecturer, who was always appalled by all the 'Polish,' used to remind both students and lecturers that "if it doesn't have meaning, then you're just wanking."

Perhaps a useful warning to those tempted towards the Polish?

In case anyone doubts me

Fred Weiss's picture

In case anyone doubts me that comparing Sciabarra to Gordon Prescott is just caricature:

"It can be argued that Ollman's conception of dialectics amounts to a "trivialization" only if one considers the formalization of principles to be a trivial activity. Ollman (1993) identifies the many interconnected aspects of dialectical thinking--from abstraction to integration. On the basis of core ontological and epistemological insights into real-world relations, a dialectician examines the objects of study in their intricate systemic and dynamic complexity. Such inquiry is followed by self-clarification, in which the theorist intellectually reconstructs the whole before proceeding to exposition, in which the presentation of findings must take into account the context and interests of the audience one addresses. Ultimately, this dialectical enterprise requires praxis--conscious action in the world that brings about change, even as it deepens our understanding of that world." Chris Sciabarra "Are We All Dialecticians Now"

http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sc...

Oh, btw, Bertell Ollman, the Marxist theorist, was Sciabarra's thesis advisor - presumably the academic he most wanted to impress.

Oh, there's much more

Fred Weiss's picture

Oh, there's much more Joe:

"And that is the whole of their shabby secret. The secret of all their esoteric philosophies, of all their dialectics and super-senses, of their evasive eyes and snarling words, the secret for which they destroy civilization, language, industries and lives, the secret for which they pierce their own eyes and eardrums, grind out their senses, blank out their minds, the purpose for which they dissolve the absolutes of reason, logic, matter, existence, reality—is to erect upon that plastic fog a single holy absolute: their Wish." - Galt's Speech

"After two centuries of gigantic philosophical struggle—of noumenal Kantian earthquakes to annihilate man's reason—of dialectic Hegelian convulsions to obliterate his freedom...." - The Ayn Rand Letter
Vol. 1, No. 24 August 28, 1972

"Would you be able to play if the rules of chess were updated to conform to a dialectic reality, in which opposites merge—so that, at a crucial moment, your queen turned suddenly from White to Black, becoming the queen of your opponent, and then turned Gray, belonging to both of you? You would not be able to continue? Yet in the living world, this is the view of reality your countrymen are taught to accept, to absorb, and to live by."- The Ayn Rand Letter
Vol. 1, No. 25 September 11, 1972 An Open Letter To Boris Spassky

"There you can see collectivism in the raw. There you have it stripped of all the humanitarian trimmings and dialectic contradictions. This is the concrete illustration of the collectivist doctrine which holds that man exists to serve others." -The Journals of Ayn Rand 10 - Communism And HUAC

Or my favorite - just replace Gordon Prescott with Chris Sciabarra discussing philosophy instead of architecture:

"Gordon L. Prescott wore a turtle-neck sweater under a plaid coat, tweed trousers and heavy golf shoes.

"The correlation of the transcendental to the purely spatial in the building under discussion is entirely screwy," he said. "If we take the horizontal as the one-dimensional, the vertical as the two-dimensional, the diagonal as the three-dimensional, and the inter-penetration of spaces as the fourth-dimensional—architecture being a fourth-dimensional art—we can see quite simply that this building is homaloidal, or—in the language of the layman—flat. The flowing life which comes from the sense of order in chaos, or, if you prefer, from unity in diversity, as well as vice versa, which is the realization of the contradiction inherent in architecture, is here absolutely absent. I am really trying to express myself as clearly as I can, but it is impossible to present a dialectic state by covering it up with an old fig leaf of logic just for the sake of the mentally lazy layman."

"Rand, of course, in the

Fred Weiss's picture

"Rand, of course, in the tradition of Aristotle, says that there are no contradictions to be synthesized."

As is often the case, you "chew" these problems out yourself in one of your rambles.

The only thing I was waiting for at the end, which you never said, was the clincher: wtf does the concept of "dialectics" contribute to any of this?

Except of course, as I maintain, to impress and pander to academics who otherwise - he thinks - won't take Objectivism seriously.

------

So, is that really you, with the twinkle in your eye and the bright, engaging smile? Not at all how I had pictured you. But it never is.

I'm not an expert in regards

JoeM's picture

I'm not an expert in regards to dialectics by a long shot, so I'd like to throw something into the mix here, and see if anyone can explain how Rand's explicitly held view of dialectics works with the Sciabarrian analysis.

I can't remember the passage in Atlas that references dialectics, but here's one from the Fountainhead, in the words of Gordon Prescott:
"If this sounds like a contradiction, it is not a proof of bad logic, but of a higher logic, the dialectics of all life and art."

dialectics again

Chris Cathcart's picture

Fred wrote:

As for RR being a distortion of Objectivism, have you read GS's comments on Diana's blog?

http://tinyurl.com/o23yo

Going with this particular one for now, I did just read it through and I don't think that GS was giving an accurate description of Sciabarra's project. Yes, Sciabarra does use the term "dialectics" in a specific way, different than how Aristotle might have used it, but still saying that dialectics as CMS conceives it -- dialectics as properly done -- is rooted in the Aristotelian tradition. As to CMS's area of scholarly emphasis, it is, yes, on what he regards as the art of integration and context-keeping. This isn't done to the exclusion of the need for hierarchy and reduction; indeed, "dialectics" done right as CMS would want to see it done, must integrate those as well. It isn't floating dualism-transcending built in the sky apart from grounding one's ideas in the evidence of the senses -- that would, in fact, be contrary to the whole idea.

Sciabarra certainly has an area of scholarly emphasis that may lead someone like GS to conclude that he's distorting Rand's message in the process, but I just don't see it. There isn't this bunch of dichotomy-transcending going on for its own sake; rather, it's his way of saying that modern philosophy is too much off on the wrong track, and that one of the signs of this is all these untenable dichotomies taken for granted. Following a proper methodology, no such pseudo-problems crop up to get in the way of correct understanding.

I'm coming at this from a firmly neo-Aristotelian angle, mind you, so I don't see the value per se of drawing parallels to Marx and Hegel beyond the fact that they and Rand promote similar-looking methodological points. Rand's intellectual context is her Aristotelian roots; theirs probably is indeed Platonic, whatever Hegel's professed admiration for Aristotle. I think Chris has been quite clear, though, that Rand's roots lie properly with Aristotle and not these two; somewhere along the way these other two pervert and misapply legitimate concepts that Chris is defending.

Also, it just occurred to me: "transcending dualisms" really isn't the right way to state the matter in any event. Rand's whole approach is such that there aren't any dualisms that arise to be "transcended" to begin with. In fact, that may actually be at the root of the Marx/Hegel perversion -- of positing a dualism and then employing their brand of "dialectics" to resolve it. Contradictions leading to synthesis, that kind of talk. Rand, of course, in the tradition of Aristotle, says that there are no contradictions to be synthesized. The "solution" to resolving any apparent contradiction is to check one's premises and identify the wider context, not to look for a synthesis that carries with it the contradictory propositions. IOW, if there's an apparent contradiction, it's resolved by throwing out whatever premises that gave rise to that appearance, not running them together under the pretention that the contradiction really isn't there after all. Hegel's infamous Idealist "resolution" to Kant's knower/ding-an-sich dichotomy is one such disastrous example of the latter approach. Marx's doctrines of history, class and conflict is another. Those would be perfect examples of the "Extreme Irrationalist Misintegration" that GS refers to.

CMS sounds like he's terribly busy, but I think I'll bring this point up to him and see if he has something interesting to say in response.

As I said, Phil, what has

Fred Weiss's picture

As I said, Phil, what has Kelley done of any note since "Evidence of the Senses"?

Of course, in an historical sense one should note "Truth and Toleration". It is a very important document - perhaps the most important - in the attempts since Ayn Rand's death to hijack her philosophy.

As for "Unrugged Individualism", I literally couldn't read it. I think I read the first chapter, or as much of it as I could stand, and then tossed it. As for "benevolence, civiliy, generosity", in this context they are clearly intended as "anti-concepts" to undermine the concept of justice, from which to the extent deserved "benevolence, civiliy, generosity" will naturally flow.

Do you seriously regard either of these works as consistent with Objectivism? Do you think Ayn Rand would have agreed with and endorsed them?

Just to be clear

Chris Cathcart's picture

Someone on OL attributed remarks by Fred Weiss to me, referring to this post. The italicized remarks are Fred's; my response is non-italicized.

Automated quoting in Usenet format would be so much easier....

Don't be too sure, Phil . . .

Chris Cathcart's picture

I was under the impression that Sherk was somewhere in his 20s by his photo. Eye

"...corrects the mistake

JoeM's picture

"...corrects the mistake that many Oists have of not considering benevolence, civiliy, generosity etc. virtues in *any* sense..."

That there's a mistake is debatable, partly due to Branden smears.

Cathcart Emerges From the Shadows

PhilipC's picture

Chris Cathcart, we hardly knew ye. Now we can see what you look like, I'm surprised how young you are!! Given all the maturity and wisdom in many of your posts, I thought you would have to be 95.

(Of course, by that standard I'd have to be a hundred and five.)

> David Kelley's Contributions

PhilipC's picture

> "Evidence of the Senses"...What has Kelley done of any note since then?

1. "Truth and Toleration" - complements Peikoff where he is right on moral judgment; corrects him where he is wrong; some mistakes--such as the fuzzy or ambiguous concept of 'open system'
2. "Unrugged Individualism" - corrects the mistake that many Oists have of not considering benevolence, civiliy, generosity etc. virtues in *any* sense
3. insisghtful summer lectures on the state of the culture
4. "Logical Structure of Objectivism" - have to wait till it's completed to make final assessment, but some good work in rough draft version which is up on TOC website

TOC = Anti-ARI?

Boaz the Boor's picture

Fred, it was Mr."PMB" of Noodlefood fame who made the observation that many (mostly online?) TOCians seem to dwell on the split (and other "Peikovian" horrors) more than they actually care about Objectivism, and I've noticed the same tendency. But I've also seen many who don't think or function that way.

Chris, "Evidence of the

Fred Weiss's picture

Chris, "Evidence of the Senses" was written while Kelley was still an Objectivist. You might as well mention Branden's "The Psychology of Self-Esteem" by that standard. What has Kelley done of any note since then?

As for RR being a distortion of Objectivism, have you read GS's comments on Diana's blog?

http://tinyurl.com/o23yo

Or James Lennox's review?

http://www.reason.com/9602/BkL...

The whole point of TOC is to

Chris Cathcart's picture

The whole point of TOC is to be anti-ARI, just as the whole point of the pseudo-Objectivist sites is to nit-pick AR, ARI, and Objectivism, to unearth every possible supposed flaw and endlessly chortle about it.

Ask yourself this simple question, why have these people contributed nothing - I mean *nothing* - of any significance to Objectivism? Can someone mention a single *important* book, or even article, on any *major* issue in Objectivism which any of them has published?

Name one.

I don't know who "these people" refer to. The TOC people? David Kelley's a TOC person, and he's contributed a book titled Evidence of the Senses.

I guess I'm not sure how exactly I can integrate your remarks being that they seem so broad and unspecific. You seem also to be making an error that I've referred to, in terms of collective judgment. I've made such errors before as it applied to ARI, in good part out of revulsion towards the doings of certain leader-figures there. But the basic point I've come to see is that there are some good people as well as bad ones in whichever "faction" you see. I just don't see the usefulness of such a sweeping remark targetted toward "them" (TOC?). There are some people, perhaps mistaken or misguided, who are with TOC that have the best intentions in mind -- the best way to advance Objectivism. Some of them don't even buy into the supposed TOC line about "not judging and not being extreme (except towards those who judge and are extreme)." It's not that simple.


Note that their "bibles" are either smears of Ayn Rand (PAR), direct attacks on the foundations of Objectivism ("Truth and Toleration"), or total distortions of Objectivism ("The Russian Radical").

I'll need to read PARC to better integrate in full context the meaning of PAR. Perhaps PAR has the fault of trying to provide a "balanced" portrayal -- one that hasn't really affected my own perception of Rand at all, as basically a heroic individual. T&T, it's been a very long time since I've read it; Kelley if anything is subtle in how I think he misapplies Objectivism. I never really liked his discussion about trade-offs or cost-benefit weighing or balancing acts. That just sounds like an unintegrated approach, and it's integration that fundamentally characterizes Rand. Which leads to the third example -- hows is RR fundamentally (or even non-fundamentally) a distortion of Rand? I could take issue with a number of things about RR, but being a distortion of Objectivism wasn't something I had in mind; I'm not even sure it's something that many of its critics had in mind.

JARS is *an exercise* in such smears, attacks, and distortions.

Fred, please.


Compare that to The Objective Standard which in just two issues has already published more interesting and important material than in the entire history of JARS.

I don't get the impression that you've done enough reading of JARS to adequately determine something like this. Keep in mind, for one thing, that the two journals have different stated aims -- one is a more general-studies journal, while the other is a journal of politics and culture. I think a more close comparison would be to the Objectivist Forum, though I gather the formats differ there as well (not to mention TOF stopped publishing some 20 years ago and doesn't quite have a current replacement).

As it turns out, there are some examples of JARS articles that are now available online. I have heard Diana say that she has respect for the work that John and Marsha Enright have done, among the very few JARS'ers that she's mentioned as worthy. (I think she may have also mentioned Hick's book on postmodernism.) And having seen past contributions from Mack and Rasmussen, I thought those were worthy. I'd expect the contributions of someone like Lester Hunt to be pretty good as well. It really depends a lot on the individual author and/or article. The undercover guy on HPO has a couple contributions there as well. Perhaps it's worth noting that all these individuals I mentioned don't proclaim to be Objectivists or pass their ideas off as Objectivism, so it's not like they're perpetrating any fraud. Anyway, I just don't see the basis for the sweeping characterization.

I have seen stuff in JARS that I know to be pretty bad, based on online interactions. In an early issue, Messrs. Gregory Johnson and David Rasmussen promulgated some ideas on abortion that, in online discussions with them, I found to be quite vicious and just downright sloppy, bad philosophy. (I have found so often "pro-lifers" to be such bad arguers and thinkers on their often-pet-issue, enough so that I've come to the conclusion that anything to the "right" of "undecided" on the issue is almost bound to be unreasonable, massively context-dropping, etc. These two I remember being rather worse than the average even for this group.) I don't see how if I were editor or peer reviewer I'd let it through except perhaps as a devil's-advocacy exercise. So, yeah, there's some pretty bad stuff that appears in the pages of JARS from time to time. Again, it comes down to the individuals making the contribution.

I'll mention that I've never actually seen a copy of JARS in the flesh; my complementary issues of the Spring '06 issue are on their way. I've seen a number of articles made available in electronic format in some fashion or other, and I couldn't say that I've found any to be bad even if they may vary in terms of quality. I won't comment per se on the article by Bass that I responded to, other than to say that it is a challenge that had to be met at some point so as to clear up the issues involved; having learned that it did manage to get accepted to JARS, I could hardly resist letting it go without refutation. Eye

But anyway, I'll really get a full chance now to see a full issue and evaluate its overall quality. I expect that a dialogue on ethics that includes contributions from Mack and Rasmussen will be all that much stonger.

Mike M.,Thanks for the info

LWHALL's picture

Mike M.,

Thanks for the info on the alternative sites.

L W

Mike Mazza suggests, "If you

Fred Weiss's picture

Mike Mazza suggests, "If you don't like discussion of movement politics, there are two other forums that don't talk about this stuff. www.ObjectivismOnline.net and forums.4aynrandfans.com."

Yeah, but you wanna bet that within 5 minutes of any pseudo-Objectivist arriving on one of these forums that's *the first thing they bring up*. Someone has insightfully noted here already that the pseudo-Objectivists need us. We don't need them. The whole point of TOC is to be anti-ARI, just as the whole point of the pseudo-Objectivist sites is to nit-pick AR, ARI, and Objectivism, to unearth every possible supposed flaw and endlessly chortle about it.

Ask yourself this simple question, why have these people contributed nothing - I mean *nothing* - of any significance to Objectivism? Can someone mention a single *important* book, or even article, on any *major* issue in Objectivism which any of them has published?

Name one.

Note that their "bibles" are either smears of Ayn Rand (PAR), direct attacks on the foundations of Objectivism ("Truth and Toleration"), or total distortions of Objectivism ("The Russian Radical").

JARS is *an exercise* in such smears, attacks, and distortions. Compare that to The Objective Standard which in just two issues has already published more interesting and important material than in the entire history of JARS.

"I ask you: would Roark, or

Fred Weiss's picture

"I ask you: would Roark, or Dagny, or even Rand be bothered doing this?"

Huh?

They did.

Rand certainly did. In fact her moral judging of people is one of the very things that pseudo-Objectivists find most distasteful about her and consider a dispensable aspect of Objectivism - in the process of course sundering "fact and value" and totally undermining a key principle of the Objectivist ethics. They also claim that this is one of the reasons that Objectivism has difficulty being accepted in the culture. Gee, ya think? You can read RoR or O-L almost any day and find this complaint. Well, yes, it is in fact one of the difficulties. Almost as difficult as Objectivism's commitment to rationality.

As for Roark, it is almost unimaginable that you even read The Fountainhead. What do you think the point was of his being expelled from Stanton or his refusal to except architectural commissions which involved *even the smallest* compromising of his principles? Gee, doesn't life require compromise? Why did he have to be so intransigent? What happened to "get along and play nice"?

As for Dagny and Rearden "bothering to do this", do you know what the sanction of the victim is? Or that it is a major theme of Atlas?

It's really outrageous how fucking sanctimonious these pseudo-Objectivists get about this as if they are upholding some principle of Objectivism when in fact they are thoroughly undermining it!

Yes, you CAN step into the same river twice!

Robert Nasir's picture

Rowlf sez: "I request that the rational ones amongst us knock-it-off, stick (more or less) to issues, and let the football-cheerleading "WE are GREAT, since we show how THEY are Dumberer" ones show themselves as the empty-head mere fans they are...and ignore them...instead of joining them."

Hee hee ... sez you!

Oh, wait ... was this not intended as irony?

(I can't resist any forum posting that says, "hey you guys, stop posting in this kind of forum!"  Yeah, right up there with, "I refuse to belong to any club that would have me as a member..." by Marx ... Groucho, that is.)

Oh my!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I suspected I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for Ed Hudgins to accept my invitation to come here & elaborate on his comments about me & SOLO & wider philosophical matters on the TOC Frord Board, even though he initially indicated he would. Now I know I shouldn't hold my breath. Ed'll be busy working on his presentation at the Frords' conference in Florida this weekend! Well, well, well. There may not be honour among thieves, smearers, liars, cowards, backstabbers & frords, but there's cosiness. I guess it'll rank as one of the smallest-ever gathering of shysters. I do hope MSK stages a cameo gatecrash. Or is he back in favour among the Frords, welcome through the front door? I can't keep up, & my spies are hopelessly desultory. Smiling

Seriously, let the record show what happened and did not happen here, from Hudgins' comments on. I urge folk to re-read the entire thread & digest thoroughly. Most salutary!

Linz

LWHALL, If you don't like

Mike_M's picture

LWHALL,

If you don't like discussion of movement politics, there are two other forums that don't talk about this stuff. www.ObjectivismOnline.net and forums.4aynrandfans.com I used to post on ObjectivismOnline, but now I'm in the OAC so that is where I go for my philosophy discussions most of the time. I've never posted on The Forum, though the threads I have read are usually of high quality. If you're a newbie you should explore all corners of Objectivism to make a fair judgment. Hanging around OL RoR and SOLO will give you a big bias in one direction for sure, even though SOLO has become neutral ground in recent months.

Strawman Question

JoeM's picture

"I ask you: would Roark, or Dagny, or even Rand be bothered doing this?"

Bad question. Better yet: Would you defend Roark against Toohey, against Wynand's "smear campaigns?" Would you have stood by Dagny and Hank against Lillian's blackmail?

J'Accuse

Rowlf's picture

~~ So, is the 'new' war going to be about stressing finger-pointing and righteously-condescending "J'Accuse'ings 'twixt various forums, now?

~~ This orientation of 'who's wrong?' seems to be turning into a very high-priority, near-compulsive addiction amongst too many "O'ist" arguers who can't seem to see a difference between a forum's leaders (and their stated policies), and it's supporters (that is: those 'supporters' who don't have to go "Nyah-nyah" at the other forums they [for one reason or another] prefer to avoid. Those supporters who DO have to do such...are kindergartners all should avoid.)

~~ A perspective, analysis, evaluation, etc should be taken re any competitive organization, though, 'personal' reasons should be attempted to be avoided...if such can be (there IS a place for 'diplomacy', ya know.) NTL, if gloves need be off, go for it; I stress, if 'need' be. Ya don't often see Ford hammering how awful Chevrolet is too much do ya?

~~ The above applies to ALL the noted forums and blogs, whether Noodlefood's, SOLO-P, RoR, The Autonomist, hell, even OL (and others I've seen ref to, but never even read). Hammering over-and-over "THEY're YUCKY! LOOK at the stupid stuff 'they' are saying over there (especially about 'US'!)" gets a bit...irrelevent to everything after a while, ya know?

~~ I request that the rational ones amongst us knock-it-off, stick (more or less) to issues, and let the football-cheerleading "WE are GREAT, since we show how THEY are Dumberer" ones show themselves as the empty-head mere fans they are...and ignore them...instead of joining them.

~~ Yes, clearly there have been some P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L issues amongst varied 'names' (which SHOULD have STAYED 'personal', IMHO!) which have ramifications organization-wise. That doesn't mean that dirty-laundry airing makes the laundry worth all that time spent saying 'stinky, stinky, stinky,' or, 'YOUR laundry is stinkIER'...which ALL aformentioned forums show commenters spending mucho time on. --- I'm not asking "Can't we all 'get along'?" I'm saying too many of us are navel-gazing...the navels of others...and using observations of the lint as a basis for a subject worth discussing.

~~ I ask you: would Roark, or Dagny, or even Rand be bothered doing this?

LLAP
J:D

P.S: Those who 'post' in varied forums aren't necessarily 'supporters' of them; hence, I suggest that each of us really-really think-twice about how one speaks of 'those who post in forum/blog 'X'.'

well...

Adam Buker's picture

If it's one thing that SOLO, RoR, and (maybe) OL can agree on is:

There are a bunch of phunny phreaks at the phriggin phreaky Autonomist.

www.adambuker.com

Some are just confused

LWHALL's picture

Some are just confused.

Imagine that! As a relative newcomer to the boards of SOLO, ROR, OL, and The Autonomist there have been times I felt as if I had wandered into the domain of Nurse Ratched, yet through it all I have often been at various times amazed, amused,and entertained. The all important bottom line of my journey is information and education and I have found that in abundance also when I take the time to look for it and ask questions.

Luckily enough for myself I am old enough and have learned enough to be able to pick what I want to personalize and not allow personalities to distract me from my endeavors.

L W

Grain of truth

ethan_dawe's picture

There is a grain of truth in what you say Casey, but there are important differences is how it really is, at least as I see it.

I'll eleborate in my argument tomorrow. Nyquil is starting to affect my mind. Look my usual dyslexia quality posting style is gone. That can't be good.

Ethan

Ethan,

Casey's picture

You are right enough of the time to earn my respect and I agree with what you say regarding the individuals who are to be found posting at the two different sites.

However, the very reason there is a "there" and a "here" was, in part, to put a stop to certain discussions over "there."

Linz never had any problem with "the direction" things were going -- Joe did, and so he booted Linz.

(A little food for thought.)

argument

ethan_dawe's picture

Here, there, us, them, they, we, etc.

I thought I commented on the useless nature of such conceptual constructs. Some of the people on RoR's forum have no interest or refuse to read PARC. I commented on my opinion, which anyone can read there. Responses are varied, as one would suspect of many different individuals with differing viewpoints. Some are honest some are not. Some are good and some are bad. Some are just confused. Some have other priorities.

To those who roar about RoR and try to stretch it to fit your two camp concept, I say this: wishes won't make it so, and those who fail to see individuals as individuals and research things for themselves will be doomed to ignorance.

I (yep, just me the individual again) have an argument to make in reply to various posters here. But it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. All I'll say for now is that I'm not ashamed as Lindsay thinks I should be, and with good reason I think. I expect my argument to change not one mind that has already been made up, but will just serve to inform those who wish to think about the issue for themselves.

Thanks, Adam

Casey's picture

It's a very useful poll, indeed. I think everyone can see where the spirit of open inquiry is alive and well (here) and fading fast (there).

Casey

Adam Buker's picture

I was the one to post the poll up on RoR. I wanted to see how many were not taking the book seriously (turns out to be a significant portion. No suprise here). See my blog post about it.

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

Adam Buker
www.adambuker.com

This is Bidinotto's

Casey's picture

This is Bidinotto's post:

"Anyone who continues to go to their sites, pay attention to their obsessive sniping, and engage them in debate, will only feed these trolls' craving for public attention, and thus keep them going."

(Ironic, eh?)

This inspired Chris Cathcart to remark that this was over the top and that Valliant is a reasonable guy and not the boogie man they are making him out to be around their bonfires over there at RoR. And that got some TOC guy to instantly blacklist Chris. And Campbell decided to spew a geyser or two of hot air, too. And now they're voting on whether they will read PARC. Hong proudly says she won't, though she enjoyed PAR and MYWAR. (If she ever does read it someday, she'll be so mortified and embarrassed that she'll understand a little more why those who know what is in PARC are so outraged at that kind of attitude. Oh well.)

Anyway, at least Mr. Scherk emailed me to disavow Mr. Cubius's low-rent stylings and implore that he not be credited as their author. I would be ashamed of that credit, too, Scherk, so consider this a favor: Mr. Scherk would like it known to all that he is NOT THE AUTHOR of these pseudonymous schoolyard taunts -- apparently they are far beneath his standards and he would consider it a smear to be associated with them.

Cubius, Scherck, Tom Cruise or whatever you're calling yourself,

Adam Buker's picture

This is not about facts or Linz's alleged evasion (which is as dishonest of a smear as I have ever seen). It's a matter of decorum. You came on this forum for the purpose of insulting the host. Why in hell should he not ban you? www.adambuker.com

Um...um...humina humina humina

DarionBlakely's picture

"I don't think Scherk/Cubius (I was sorry to hear they were one and the same) is a 'great guy.'"

Yeah, I would be very sorry about it too, except for the small fact it ain't true. I am a great guy, though. I don't know about Scherk. He might be only half- or three-quarters great. You'd have to check with him about it.

Mr. Perigo's smears continue to be somewhat lazy and undisciplined. He's "heard" that "barking mad" Bidinotto "frothed" and "foamed" against Solo in a recent post. Oh. What recent post? What exactly did he say? What's so frothing and foaming about it? What's the "tragedy" of the post? I pause for a reply. [Sound effect goes here: dead silence, interrupted by occasional cricket-chirp.]

Such questions are irksome, even ban-worthy, if you're a friend of objectivity in name only. True, facts can be cumbersome; let's concede it. They have a certain unavoidable weight to them that some find hard to lift. Yet, to maintain one's connection to reality, that's the kind of heavy lifting one has to do. One has to actually deal with the actual facts. That's the way it is.

...But don't worry, Mr. Hudgins, we're not going to resort to any ad hominem in in our proposed engagement with you, and we're not going to woozily and dyspeptically disdain facts, logic, intelligibility, in our proposed engagement with you. Ed, Ed, Ed, it's just your barking-mad colleague whose words go immediately into the memory hole before they even reach the fertile green fields of our minds. No, really, it's quite a fair and open, honorable invitation we extend to you, you most heinous coward!

--Cubius Squared

Dear Lord

Boaz the Boor's picture

"Coupla things. First, some folk have evidently been fooled by that part of Mr. Sherk's charade that would have us believe he's a mere youth, for whose very youthfulness I ought to make allowances. If he were indeed as young as the person in the photo, I would indeed make allowances. But Mr. Sherk is more than old enough to be that person's father."

I can't speak for others, but I was indeed operating under that misapprehension. I wasn't condoning his behavior, and I think Linz was in the right not to tolerate it -- though I am now obviously inclined to judge more harshly.

I have to admitt, WSS

John M Newnham's picture

I have to admitt, WSS annoyed the shit out of me at first. His style of communication is not for everyone, and he may be playing to the wrong crowd here. I do think he is sincere though, and intellectually honest.

John

If anyone here thinks

Ross Elliot's picture

If anyone here thinks Lindsay has been picking on a babe in the woods then they need to disabuse themselves of any such notion. William Sherck is indeed a man older than myself, and I'm certainly past the first flush of youth.

Beyond a certain point age is not an issue anyway. WSS showed himself as being quite in control of the English language. It's just a shame he decided to apply it to verbose obfuscation and silly circumlocution at every opportunity. On at least a couple of occasions in the chatroom I asked him what the hell he was going on about and he sidestepped the question. To me, he was at best a court jester, at worst, a tiresome read. In the end I didn't bother.

You can judge for yourself if WSS deserved getting dumped. It was Lindsay's call and I can't say I blame him. Fact is, most wouldn't care.

Um ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Coupla things. First, some folk have evidently been fooled by that part of Mr. Sherk's charade that would have us believe he's a mere youth, for whose very youthfulness I ought to make allowances. If he were indeed as young as the person in the photo, I would indeed make allowances. But Mr. Sherk is more than old enough to be that person's father.

Second, I've been informed that several days after my message here to Ed Hudgins, Ed's barking mad colleague Bidinotto went on one of his rabies-rampages on the TOC FRoRd Board, frothing & foaming against SOLO. Are we to infer that this is Hudgins' response to my invitation to engage?

If so, tragic & sad indeed, Ed. Your words.

Linz

Scherk

Boaz the Boor's picture

I don't think Scherk/Cubius (I was sorry to hear they were one and the same) is a "great guy." I think he's committed to a philosophical mistake, of the "Brandroid" variety, in which he is unfortunately not alone -- and the result is predictable. I think he has poor taste.
I think he has acted unjustly and judged hastily, and without tending to the way his rhetorical lances can affect people. All that said, I do think he's sincere, even if he seems to revel in impenetrability from time to time. I also think he has an amazing talent. I hope it goes to better use in the future.

Let him go ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

In Jody's book, Sherk/Cubius/Terry Wilson/Marion Weldey is a "great guy." He affirms the writer of the posts appearing under these names is a "sincere" person. He loves Barbara Branden, while being self-confessedly ignorant of what this smear-merchant & conscientious spinner of half-truths has done, &, equally self-confessedly, militantly uninterested in finding out. He acted as her conduit some time back. He endorses the Brandroid ban on passing moral judgement except on those who pass moral judgement. Lying, smearing, back-stabbing, dissing Rand unjustly, turning Objectivism into New Agey, therapy-culture mush ... all of that's fine—protesting against such dishonesty & treachery ain't. He characterises my challenge to Ed Hudgins as being part of a "personal spat" while bald-facedly claiming he barely knows what TOC is ... and so on.

Jody claims: My laughter tomorrow will be sincere, and it will not be a snide laughter, but a laughter of life.

Now that is funny. Jody & Sherk practically wrote the Snideness Manual—some of it, I suspect, in my chatroom.

I'm not surprised at this turn of events, nor remotely dismayed. Well, I'm dismayed that Jody is what he's shown himself to be, but not dismayed that, admitting it, he's slung his hook. That action, at least, was honourable.

There'll be more, I expect. I'm taking bets with myself as to who's next. Smiling

Linz

To defend this crap you're leaving, Jody?

Casey's picture

Wow.

I implore you

MarionWeldey's picture

Mm. This is a very superior form of discourse. I praise the keen foresight of the saviors of this site. Sure, bring on the bouncers, if you think that's right. But it's passing strange, for I am on your side! I repeat again: I join you in your invitation! Moreover, I reject all curs with indignation!

Ed--Ed, no. Don't worry. Fear not expulsion should you lapse long enough to join in our convulsions. We engage all comers here! I mean, except the ones we don't. We're brave, you knave! Clear? So come! --What? You won't?

Gentlemen it's spring

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Jody,

Thanks for your thoughtful words and it's been a pleasure to know you online. I'm going to make an announcement of my own, but for different reasons. I'm also retiring from this forum, but also from Rebirth of Reason and Objectivist Living as well.

I've recently had the pleasure to join my local Objectivist Club, Arizona Objectivists, started a new job that I love, joined a local Celtic music group. I've had a terrific 1.5 years with internet Objectivism, but I've concluded it's time to turn my attention to other things. I will treasure the special people I've met here always.

As they say in Iowa, I'll see you in better weather.

Jim

Gentlemen, it's spring

Jody Gomez's picture

Though I leave friends, I leave. I simply can't sanction what goes on here. It would not be fair to either myself, or Linz to continue 'lurking', especially as I have staff positions. The simple fact is, that the 'who's evul, who's righeous' focus(I say focus because it dominates, but I know there are others here who focus on better and more important things)is simply not for me. I don't have a chicken in this fight(Drunk that is the dominate theme here. I know that in the O'ist world, it is common to make categorical judgements...the liars at OL, the frauds at RoR, the bashers at Solo...I hope that no one takes my remarks here as such a categorically negative judgement on each of you here(such sweeping generalizations are part of my reason for this). There are many here that I admire and hope for the best that life has to offer. There are some amazing individuals here: Duncan, Jason, Jen, Ross, Ciro, Dan straight-Edge, James H. Nelson, Marnee...damn I know I'm forgetting people.

WSS is a great guy, and his banishment precipitated this. Is he infallible? No. Is he challenging? Yes. And he is sincere.

The last issue I want to address is this--don't fucking sling shit at people, and then sling more shit because they don't respond to your first salvo. From the Brandens, to TOC, to CMS, to Ed, to Joe Rowlands there has been a lot of shit tossed, and then the requisite denunciation because they don't pick up a hand-full and return fire. Maybe they have life to live, and the shit throwers just aren't worth their fucking time. And as far as denouncing them for their silence, can anyone say "non sequitur"? I know that for this I'll be denounced as a "Brandenite", or TOC-ite, or CMS-ite, etc, etc. So, let's set those facts straight. I love Barbara Branden. I'm completely apathetic to Nathaniel(because I don't know him), I barely know who/what TOC is, I don't really know who Ed is, and I've never read Russian Radical, nor have I ever read JARS. So, in a nutshell, I don't give a fuck about Diana and Chris's personal spats, I don't give a fuck about Linz and Ed's personal spats, etc...ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea
...Tennyson

I also have life to drink, and I have to choose how to spend my time. The dominate theme of obligatory ostracism that I see here is not my life, nor my fight. My laughter tomorrow will be sincere, and it will not be a snide laughter, but a laughter of life.

Idiot Trampoline

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I suppose Mr. Sherk will continue to reappear under other different guises. They'll all get blocked, but I might leave the posts up as instructive instances of that team's modus operandi. Aside from that, I suggest folk ignore him/her/it. Smiling

Linz

Terry

eg's picture

If you were a chicken you'd be running around with your head cut off.

--Brant

My conch runneth over

Terry Wilson's picture

An effective and cutting riposte, Mr. Feh! I know when I'm beaten! Excuse me, please, while I get a bucket to scoop up all the blood flowing from this grievous wound. True editorial abilities have ye, clearly. No wonder Jimmy Valorous's turgid rant was so much improved by your winged blue-penciling. I mean, I love how you excised all the concession clauses, and all the parts with the whim-worshiping common sense, and whatnot. You just zeroed in on that stuff.

Come, Ed, come dialogue with us. This isn't how it's going to be...no really! It will be much better than this! We'll be on point and everything! Please, Ed...please??? And bring your light saber, coward.

Hi Terry,

Casey's picture

Has anyone ever told you you're really funny?

Didn't think so.

I sure hope you're Cubius, because I would hate to think there is yet another one on that team who resorts to this kind of thing.

Attention, attention must be paid...Ed...Ed...Ed?

Terry Wilson's picture

"Perhaps that's precisely why there's been no engagement? 'Over the next day or so,' Ed said. A week ago."

Omigod, did he lie?

Ed, you lying liar! Come here and let us explain it to you before the whole world! We have no idea why in all integrity and honesty you might not comply with our request! Oh, what is the matter with you, Ed; come to our site!! Schoolmarm Phil needs help. We're not going to insult you. Phil, yes. Not you, Ed. Just Phil. He kind of likes it. Help us help you to help him, won't you? Oh please Ed, please.

Please, Ed...please? Pretty please with sugar on top? Don't worry, we're not going to blindside you and heap smears on you. Any additional ones, we mean. No, really. Not like we did when Tibor sent us his brief note saying he didn't want any more of his articles posted here because he did not wish to have anything to do with all the attacks on Sciabarra et al, so that we just had to bash him, no, not like that. Come here, Mr. Ed, and be instructed, you idiot jerk! Damn you, come on!

Oh Ed, Ed, Ed, why don't you accept our kind invitation to civil discourse? Do you have to be such a jerko about it? Scaredy-cat! Ed's a scaredy-cat!

Ed, come on, Ed, please? Really we'll be nice, you coward, and we'll stick to the issues, what harm could it do, you yellow-belly!!

Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a site. To this one....

Ear cupped for the conch ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Robert wrote:

Linz wrote (in the original entry): "So let's engage. In front of the world. What harm could it do?"
Well, for one, it looks like it'll seperate the wheat from the chaff.
Or wait .... hmm ... is that really a bad thing?

Perhaps that's precisely why there's been no engagement? "Over the next day or so," Ed said. A week ago.

It does seem very clear that the entire Branden camp has adopted the strategy of either silence or gratuitous assertions about its critics uttered within its comfort zones such as the TOC Frord Board or O-Lying. It runs a mile from direct engagement, leaving poor hapless school ma'ams like Phil to flail against the winds of justice. My invitation to Ed still stands, but I'm not holding my breath.

Oh well, if nothing else we now know who Evelyn was. Smiling

"...What harm could it do?"

Robert Nasir's picture

Linz wrote (in the original entry): "So let's engage. In front of the world. What harm could it do?"

Well, for one, it looks like it'll seperate the wheat from the chaff. 

Or wait .... hmm ... is that really a bad thing?

I can imagine at least one other idiot

Craig Ceely's picture

Of course, they're easier to find when they leave droppings.

That Scherk jerk is an idiot!!

Cubius's picture

"Sorry, but I just can't stand this jerk's type of smart-assing, & I won't subsidise it. He was duly warned. Sherk, as I said, yer an idiot, a waste of space."

Yeah, that jerk-idiot, space-wasting smart-ass too insistently punctured your pompous asininity and degringoladic hemi-semi-demi divinity. Can't have that. I'm with you on this. Not on all your other dim-witted smears, I hasten to add. But re this one--yawp. Thumbs up. Scherk, yer a jerk! An idiot...and...a smart--smart-ass! You space-wasting idiot guy! Grrr! Don't let the door to the kingdom hit you on the way out! We can handle this petty pace without you.... AND DON'T COME BACK, YOU JERK AND IDIOT! What a smart-ass idiot not-taking-the-warning jerk. I hate that kind of thing. GOODBYE NOW SCHERKO JERKO!!!!!

Sanction of the Victim

JoeM's picture

Barbara's one to talk. If Chris takes after her, he'll wait 'til we're all dead before he responds.

Gee, Linz

eg's picture

You must have been reading Barbara's sanction of the victim stuff over on OL.

--Brant

He's Gone.

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Sorry, but I just can't stand this jerk's type of smart-assing, & I won't subsidise it. He was duly warned. Sherk, as I said, yer an idiot, a waste of space. Go be a clever-dick in the house of someone who doesn't despise you. You're through here.

Linz

Shirk, Shrek, or whatever

Fred Weiss's picture

Shirk, Shrek, or whatever your name is, since keeping context seems to be one of your biggest problems, maybe someone should point out to you that Lincoln's magnanimity to the South was that of a victor over an enemy that his forces had just *totally destroyed*. The South was a complete wreck. You've heard of Sherman's March to the Sea? Do they teach that in Canada?

And if you are so friggin' concerned about "the ick factor", do you have any idea how many men perished in The Civil War? Do you know what they were fighting for? Do you know that the principles involved were so deeply and passionately held that brothers fought brothers over them?

Golly gee, how could people be willing to fight and die for their ideals like that? Sigh. Why can't people just learn to be kind and play nice?

I think Will meant

Chris Cathcart's picture

Pink Cooch. Shaped about right, too.

You lost me Will

JoeM's picture

.

"By the better angels of our nature"

wsscherk's picture

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?'

'He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.'

'I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.'
-- attributed to Abraham Lincoln


("The Pink or Queen Conch," from Larimber.com)

Joe, you are right that I poke the stick at La Mertz's and La Perigo's arguments and postures more than I have recently done elsewhere to others. Correct indeed that my some 70 posts to SOLOHQ/RoR and dozen or so to SOLO have tilted strongly against certain arguments and claims.

I have dressed it up and mixed it up and fucked it up, Joe, but my message has always banged the same danged lid: the ick factor, the extremes, the out-of-control-psycho-tag-team-takedown style of O-online wrasslin' . . . Joe, brother! I have done everything with my threadbare thesis but drive it into my reader's foreheads with a bolt-gun. Be fair. : ) They are all the same frigging post.

I take your wry aside (ENGRISH, PREASE!) to be a warning -- some of my output's import will zoom by those who only skim. Joe, give some of my top-ten posts another read, the ones that used to make you mad but now could make you smile, the ones that used to make you sad, but now might make you chuckle.

Phil recaps and underlines some of my major issues.

On the subject of friendship and reconciliation, Joe, my brother, I can't beat Lincoln, from his inaugural.

WSS

_______________________________

"Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not
remove our respective sections from each other nor build
an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may
be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the
reach of each other, but the different parts of our
country can not do this. They can not but remain face to
face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must
continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make
that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory
after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties
easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more
faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among
friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight
always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no
gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old
questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon
you."

. . .

"I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends.
We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained
it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic
chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and
patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all
over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the
Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by
the better angels of our nature." US Inaugural Address

Conch. Hudgins. Dropped?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I was under the impression I'd handed the conch to Ed Hudgins. But I don't hear anything.

Phil, Will's got the conch.

JoeM's picture

Let him answer (In English.)

But obviously I disagree with that assessment of Objectivism, as one being based on smears, especially by your buddies the Brandens. And what I see as pounding the "fuck out of your enemies" approach is the behavior exhibited at OL.

I don't want to step into

Fred Weiss's picture

I don't want to step into more of this muck than I have to right now, but Phil - just focusing on one point - maybe you can explain to us what is meant by "the lingering public odor of extremism attached to objectivism (sic)."

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