|This matter is a no-brainer, and it doesn't require a lengthy dissertation. A co-owner of this site, the one who also finances it, was insulted by a poster, a guest on the site. The insulter, Mr. Elmore, was asked to apologise, and placed under moderation pending such an apology. He has refused to apologise, and instead explained why he insulted his host.|
As it happens, I don't think his explanation stacks up. But that isn't the point. The point is not who was right and who was wrong in the Rowlands/Elmore clashes that led to the insults. The point is, contrary to what some here seem to think ("think" is too flattering a term): Joe is under no obligation to put up with insults on a site he funds—and has every right not to put up with them. He has every right to say, "You're welcome onto my turf, but not if you're going to sling dung at me. If you do sling dung at me, at minimum you'll be expected to apologise."
That is what he's done, and if the dung-slinger wishes to stick around, he should apologise.
End of story.
Or it should be, on a site where folk supposedly understand the prerogatives of private ownership.
But I've been agog and aghast to see just who doesn'tunderstand them.
"If Joe can call someone an asshole, then everyone has the right to call him an asshole," is one pathetic, egalitarian catch-cry that has gone up. Well, guess what? Everyone does have that right—if Joe says so. That's how private ownership works. If Joe says no, then as things stand no one has that right except me. Terrible, isn't it? Monstrously unfair, isn't it? Should be a law against it, shouldn't there? The Equal Right For All Whining Losers To Call Joe Rowlands An Asshole Law. Quick, someone, bring in the FCC, that it may impose some fairness here!
All of this is quite apart from whether Joe was right to call someone an asshole and whether anyone is right to call him an asshole. In my view he was, and anyone isn't. But that's beside the point. Here's some free advice to all the whining losers: "Get used to it." Here's some more: "This is the way the prerogatives of private ownership work—the owner sets the terms." Get used to that, too.
The whiners continue: "Waaaa, but the guests are allowed to insult each other ... why can't they insult their hosts as well? Waaa, waaaaa!!!!!!"
1) See above.
2) I can just imagine the screaming that would go on if we were to exercise the degree of moderation necessary to ensure that guests didn't insult each other ... quite apart from the endless gnashing of teeth that would go on about what constituted an insult and all the rest of it.
But the whiners are not done yet. "Waaaaaaa! But we didn't know we weren't allowed to insult Joe. Waaaa! Waaa!" This one truly beggars belief. Where I come from, one of the most elementary rules of etiquette is that, when enjoying someone's hospitality, you don't insult him. You show him respect. It's an admirable, rational, benevolent rule. I can't imagine, and don't care to contemplate, the depth of philistinism necessary for an adult to be able to say, "I didn't know that," or what lack of breeding could bring such an atrocity about.
Now let's cut to the chase here. In the preceding remarks, I have rubbed the noses of the infantile prats who clearly need educating about the rudiments of the free market in a principle that is clearly foreign to them: if the owners of this site choose to be utterly arbitrary, capricious, cruel and "unfair" in the rules they impose and the way they impose them, that is entirely their prerogative. Anyone who doesn't like it is free to fuck off. No one is here under duress. But in actual fact, of course, the owners of this site don't make that choice, notwithstanding the idiotic charges levelled at them by some on this thread. All that has happened is that one of the owners, the one shelling out the dosh, has taken justifiable exception to being insulted, and has demanded an apology. I'm still assuming and hoping the insulter will have the decency and sense of perspective to proffer it and we can all get on with more important matters.
I raise "perspective" here intentionally. One thing on this thread that has left me boggle-eyed with incredulity is that some posters are saying their whole opinion of SOLO, and their decision whether to stick around, hinges on the outcome of this dispute. Seriously! An owner exercises his prerogative ... and this is suddenly something akin to Rand/Branden or Kelley/Peikoff. SOLO is suddenly guilty of the worst excesses of the ARI. For fuck's sake you guys!! We have sweated blood to bring you an Objectivist culture that is the sunlit, open field that it should always have been. And you know bloody well we have succeeded! For the first time, apart from the deliciously heady early days of NBI, it has actually happened! "It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." And, if the truth be known, the freedom to dissent and question is much greater here than there. This, without falling into the feeble-minded, limp-wristed, mealy-mouthed ecumenical nothingness that became TOC (hopefully about to be corrected). Yet you're prepared to walk off this field just because one of its owners demands an apology of someone who wronged him? If you are really so lacking in perspective then you clearly never belonged here and you should walk off. Preferably, run, in order that my vomit doesn't reach you. But is this really you? Have I been so wrong about some of you?!
Here's something new I hadn't planned on saying, but this last consideration has prompted it ... to anyone whom the cap fits: If you truly itch to insult the principals here just because they're principals, then insult me. I've been in public life for many years, and insulted by experts. I don't give a damn. I especially won't give a damn about insults coming from you because I have no regard for you. None whatsoever. You are free to post here, and you are free to insult me. This is not altruism or betrayal—I shall enjoy the spectacle of your showing your colours, and we shall all benefit from knowing them. But Joe and Jeff, the creators of this mighty site, are off limits. Disagree with them by all means; insult them, & you'll have me to deal with. Live with that. Get over it.
Mr. Elmore remains moderated.