|I want to respond to a couple of good points made by Joe.|
First, I do NOT think Joe is an asshole, and I apologize to Joe and anyone who took it that way--it was a poorly phrased post. What I really meant is that everyone is capable of a slip of passion wherein they do or say something that was, perhaps, ill-advised. People who believe that everything they do is correct and proper, and work backwards from there to rationalize it, can certainly be jerks. I do not think Joe is an 'evader' in the classical Objectivist sense, but is maybe being a bit evasive on this particular issue.
Second--what is Linz's crime? Being rude? His posts and tone are more than rude at times. They are outrageously insulting and provocative, and intentionally ignore distinctions which responders point out--Chris S's and MH's explanation of why they are not "Saddamites" even per Linz's definition is one example. Distinctions are ignored and once-categorized, always cetegorized. Wouldn't a respected person doing that bother anyone? Wouldn't civil posts garnering contempt and insults get to anyone after awhile? Doesn't Linz ~instigate~ the double-plus rude exchanges? Words can actually be ~more~ inflamatory and insulting than a slap across the face. Words are recorded ideas and ideas are man's stock in trade. By all means, say what you mean, but do not bring a sledgehammer to a dinner party. Doing so ignores both context and benevolence and their important roles in living a good life.
Third, Joe, I have to admit, you are correct. I should have sent Linz a private email. I lost my temper a bit, because I have seen this happen repeatedly. I was rude. And in public, which was not particularly benevolent of me. But Linz's castigation of MH was public. I think we can probably agree that this became rather a public issue before my post. So whether a public post was appropriate in the face of a public outburst is one that honest people may disagree upon. But, I agree with Barbara that using force after force has already been wrongfully initiated, may be appropriate. I also agree that hers was the very model of tact and style. She is seems to always post with those, admirably.
Fourth, I do not know if I am now supposed to be one of the "anti-Linz cabal" or not. I can assure you, I am not. You see, I never would have gotten along with Ayn Rand if I met her in person. Because the minute she bullied someone, or God forbid, tried to bully me, or the minute she tried to pull the "I'm infallible" nonsense, it would have been a deal-breaker. No matter how radiant, brilliant, or charming she was. That stuff doesn't wash. Linz's blanket response of 'fuck-off' in response to this stuff doesn't wash, either.
Fifth, we need to keep context clear here. If the context is substance, heck, those horses have been beaten to death. Everyone who can read knows and appreciates Linz's position as well as MH's and Dr. Chris'. But as I wrote before--either benevolence is an issue in dealing with others, or it is not. If it is, I do not understand why you, me, Dr. Chris, or anyone else lets Linz off with his initiation of rude, insulting name-calling, with his stock argument, essentially, that if you cannot take the heat, you are a wuss. You will note that many people who disagree with Linz manage to keep their responses fairly civil even after he breaks out the name calling and stops engaging the argument itself.
If this phenomena was singular, you write it off. When it happens repeatedly, and the principal is called on the issue, we have to weight the validity of his response. Linz's response is that he is supremely confident that his was the correct position, that those who disagree are (insert always witty and cleverly conceived name-calling here), and, that those who take exception are wusses, and they can just fuck off.
Here's the problems with this response.
1. It doesnt address the benevolence issue at all. Wasn't Matt a ~co-moderator~ of SOLO? Didn't Matt deserve ~some~ consideration above that of a stranger? In fact, I'll bet you a nickle that Matt and Linz agree on fully 90% of all political, social and philosophical issues. I have to honestly say that Linz's words in some of his posts are those reserved for mortal enemies, not those with whom one agrees. Do we get Linz's integration of the virtue of benevolence with his conduct? No.
2. There is seemingly no room in his response to even contemplate the remote possibility that he was mistaken or ill-advised in any degree in his conduct. This is Ayn Rand/ARI legacy stuff--the idea that the more 'one' with Objectivism you are, the more perfect your every word, thought, and deed. I respect confidence tremendously. I lose some measure of respect for people for whom it appears that there is no instrospection--that ego demands righteous defense of any conduct. Now, one may retort that a confident man need not display any hesitation. At some point, this ideal needs to be reconciled with the value of analyzing what your are doing or have done. Does his response show evidence of an honest evaluation of his actions, in context of the disfavor shown by: (1) SOLO's Executive Director' (2) Esteemed Writer-In-Residence; (3) Triple D, to say nothing of others who have been amongst his staunchest supporters (um, me)? Or does it seem more like a stock response, identical to other responses in similar situation, other than for the clever names he devises for his detractors?
So, there you have it. I have to end by reiterating that, in the grand scheme of things, whether Linz flies off the handle or not; or whether he calls people bad names or not; or whether he is somewhat abusive in his dealings with his supporters are of VERY LITTLE SIGNIFICANCE, especially in the context of his enormous contributions. He ~is~ SOLO and the FreeRad, for the luvva Galt. The main thing that bothers me about this is that this conduct is not singular, which leads me to believe that he either has not analyzed it, or has analyzed it and refuses to change. The best thing a friend can ever do for you is help you correct an error in thinking. It's the gift that keeps on giving for the rest of your life.