|Andre (Post 32): many thanks. I told this particular story only to make a point. I really don't have the desire to relate personal tales for their own sake, which is gossipy.|
Barbara (Post 34): thank you, too. As for the advertised celluloid chronicle of Leonard Peikoff's heroic life, gosh, I just can't wait. Especially with such "heroism" consisting of: being tortured by an inner dichotomy, trekking from the untamed wilds of Canada to the civilized streets of the U. S., actually meeting his author/mentor, then being taught by her, mastering the daunting and unprecedented challenges of "learning how to think and write," receiving "special insights" into his mentor's "unique mind and values," acquiring skill at presenting and promoting his mentor's ideas, overseeing publication of his mentor's works, and then -- to top it off -- actually acquiring his own "personal value system, artistic favorites and personal life"...
...well goll-lleee, folks, I ask you: Has such an heroic figure ever loomed so large over the global landscape? What an inspiration to all of us to demonstrate the benefits of a Philosophy for Living on Earth!
Barbara, your P.P.S. in fact actually demonstrates Leonard's heroic modesty: Note that he didn't take deserved credit for having the keen acumen and profound wisdom to accept your invitation to meet Ayn Rand. Now, he could have chosen otherwise, you know; but even THEN, at the tender age of 17, the boy genius grasped the Essentials, understood that this pivotal moment was a Selective Re-Creation of Reality, and then let NOTHING deter him from answering "YES" when you invited him!
An inspiration, I tell you, an inspiration!
Wayne (post 36): I of course deserve all the nice things you said about me, and none of the criticisms... No, seriously, a couple points of clarification:
Regarding my supposedly coming to agree with Schwartz's criticism of libertarianism: at exactly the same time that he published his critique, I had published my own, titled "Libertarianism: Fallacies and Follies." It was in the spring of 1985, in fact. It differed from Schwartz's in a fundamental way: I did not try to claim all libertarians were irrationalists, subjectivists, etc., by using the worst examples within the movement as representative of it. The libertarian movement then was far less dominated by anarchists, anti-war pacifists, opponents of intellectual property rights, and (yes) unsavory subjectivist sorts than it is today. So his screed was simply an unfair smear when he issued it.
Later, while at TOC, I, along with my colleagues, gave a several-year stab at trying to influence the libertarian movement in more positive directions. However, speaking for myself, I've concluded during the past couple of years that the effort was a failure. Most libertarians have never really bothered to grasp the philosophical fundamentals of Objectivism, and continue to spread gross misconceptions about it. The worst elements, including what Linz calls the Saddamites, have come to dominate most of the major libertarian organs. So I conclude, sadly, that Objectivists must divorce themselves from that movement, clearly distinguishing an Objectivist political alternative.
As for my supposedly twisting this thread in order to grind my own axes against ARI: the opening salvo here was a claim that ARI was much better than has been assumed by many of us. I don't think my responses to that claim have been at all irrelevant: I have merely disagreed, and provided counter-examples.
It's not like I'm hijacking this thread to shamelessly promote something totally off-topic...like [http://bidinotto.journalspace.com] The Bidinotto Blog, or something like that, is it???
It may surprise you to hear that I believe ARI has been generally superior to TOC in several fundamental organizational and marketing respects, and also in projecting a sense of being moral crusaders. TOC needs improvement in those areas. Substantively, however, I think TOC has been much better than ARI on a number of significant issues, some of which include the very definition of what it means to be "an Objectivist."
James Heaps-Nelson (post 37): excellent observations.