|Mr. RussK: Why would Peikoff apologize? ARI's only purpose is to promote Objectivism, nothing else. David Kelley was obviously interested in other things. I agree with Ms. Hsieh, TOC is more interested in opening up Objectivism and incorporating the likes of Bob Barr to its teachings than promoting Objectivism. |
Mr. Stolyarov: What, in your judgment, are the "other things" Dr. Kelley is interested in? If what you mean is that he seeks to expand Objectivism beyond the bounds Rand had (during her finite and, alas, not infallible lifetime) extended it to, then I see nothing improper about this. (Of course, you, an advocate of the "closed doctrine," do not consider extrapolations to be "Objectivst").
Objectivism, as a filosofy, emfasizes a commitment to one's own rational mind, and not the subordination of said mind to any official doctrine. You state that any organization where thoughts deviant from the party line are expressed should ostracize those members and stifle those thoughts. This is not a fitting approach, as every person will disagree with every other on some, if not many, issues. If the closed-doctrine, alienate-everyone-who-does-not-correspond-with-100%-of-the-top-down-leadership's-mindset approach were utilized consistently, all organizations would cease to exist altogether, and everyone supporting the idea would become a withdrawn solipsist, gazing inward on his own unchanging inner state (this sounds too much like the Buddhist Nirvana for me to be comfortable with the notion).
The only reason why ARI and Peikoff have retained some measure of efficiency is because they have extensively given moral sanction to outside sources for the spread of their works and the introduction of new individual thinkers into the intellectual arena. Examples include ARI's press releases to major newspapers, its generous Media Department (which permits Objectivist, libertarian, and conservative publications, The Rational Argumentator included, to reprint ARI articles), and its essay contest offerings to high school students. Ms. Hsieh's cutting off of contact with TOC facilitates a greater isolation than even ARI allows itself, and is thus bound to be less efficient in transmitting her own ideas.
Mr. Firehammer: Hank
Mr. Stolyarov: Hank Kerchief from the Free Republic? I had suspected this much from your extensive links to The Autonomist in the "Why They Fear Us" discussion, where we had promoted the same ideas in the face of a barrage of attacks by religionists. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1048820/posts. It surprises me that you are the same character who had given moral sanction not merely to a forum dominated by "traditional conservatives" but also to me, the "collectivist."
This even more vividly illustrates my understanding of cooperation and the fact that "closed doctrine" and its consequent schisms, purges, and isolation are not workable in practice. Whatever our minor disagreements about periferal issues, the fact remains that we both embrace reason, individualism, and capitalism, principles not fashionable in today's culture nor embraced by the religionists whom we had argued against. The two of us responded to a greater number of different arguments of various degrees of falsehood to an extent that one could not have possibly covered, considering time constraints.
Now, on to your post.
Mr. Firehammer: I would not presume to do what Diana has already done very well. I could not improve on it or make it easier for you to understand.
Mr. Stolyarov: What you had posted in response was merely Ms. Hsieh's statement concerning what Dr. Kelley did to allegedly undermine yours and her interpretation of Objectivism. You still never stated what said interpretation was.
Ms. Hsieh wrote: "The open system thus minimizes the importance of the wide range of insights, applications, principles, methods, arguments, and logical connections found in the full and rich system of philosophy developed by Ayn Rand."
Are all insights, then, created equal, if we are to question none and accept the entirety of them without regard to the hierarchical nature of Objectivism? Does Rand's glorification of smoking assume the same moral character as her commitment to capitalism? Am I to be branded collectivist (again) because I deem tobacco a vile poison? An open system is necessary precisely for the purpose of prioritizing in favor of fundamentals and seeing whether derivative claims can stand up to the test. Many of Rand's ideas definitely could, but her embrace of smoking is an example of a notion disproved by every scientific study with relevance to human health (and by her own early death at 77, from lung and heart problems). Moreover, however rich Rand's system, she was neither omnipotent nor omniscient. She could not claim to (legitimately) have had the final word on filosofy. More always remains to be discovered and linked to the fundamentals.
I'm afraid you've got. Though a long-time student of logic, I admit I have never run across this fallacy, or even heard of it. I have seen the term "lone-wolf" used by certain collectivists and modern "liberals" as a slur for anyone who does not, "support the team," or, "go along with the program," but have never heard of any such fallacy. Could you kindly point out a source so I may add it to my nearly exhaustive list of Logical Fallacies, Formal and Informal?
Mr. Stolyarov: I refer you to a source which you may have overlooked, Philosophy: Who Needs It by that very collectivist and modern "liberal" author, Ayn Rand. (Extreme irony and sarcasm intended.)
Page 46: Chapter 5: Selfishness without a Self:
"All tribalists are anticonceptual in various degrees, but not all anti-conceptual mentalities are tribalists. Some are lone wolves (stressing that species' most predatory characteristics)."
Rand describes lone-wolfism most compellingly on page 50:
"... they seek escape from the two activities which an actually selfish man would defend with his life: judgment and choice... they prefer the tribe (the given) to outsiders (the new)-- they prefer commandments (the memorized) to principles (the understood)..."
Mr. Firehammer: Whenever a group, an organization, a movement or any other "collection" of individuals becomes the object to which any particular individual's values, purposes, or personal goals are subordinated, it is collectivism.
Ms. Rand (from that same chapter, page 49): If a man subordinates ideas and principles to his "personal interests," what are his principles and by what means does he determine them? ... With all of his [emfasis] on "himself"... the tribal lone wolf has no self and no personal interests, only momentary whims. He is aware of his own immediate sensations and of very little else.
Mr. Stolyarov: If one does not see it in one's self-interest to promote the spread of ideas that can make life livable and free of constant government intrusions upon one's welfare, I (and Rand) question that person's understanding of his/her own self-interest.
Your friendly arch-collectivist (worse than a Marxist or even (GASP!) David Kelley),
G. Stolyarov II