|Speaking of Barbara Branden, I wrote:|
(Ah, but do her critics on this list really reject inappropriate anger?)Linz commented:
Well, this critic does, Roger. You can read my thoughts on this in In Praise of Anger elsewhere on this site. Appropriate anger! Not to say that I haven't been guilty of inappropriate anger myself on occasion, as anyone who's been here a while knows (possibly you've been guilty of it yourself once or twice in your life, Roger). But I'm blessed if I know why it's blown up to be such a cosmic issue. The appropriate thing for the inappropriately angry person to do is apologise for his inappropriate blow-up & then everyone should get on with life, not make anger its central issue or go into permanent grievance mode.Listen, there's a reason why early media coverage of the Objectivist movement wrote about "The Cult of Angry Ayn Rand." It's not an illusion, and it's not all justified, and the unjustified anger has a very harmful effect on our ability to effectively communicate ideas. Yes, indeed, I have been guilty of inappropriate anger, way too many times, as a matter of fact, and I don't doubt that I will again. But I'm criticizing a behavior that undermines values. Apologies are fine, but when the behavior recurs too often, the apologies lose credibility, as they should. Bad habits are better broken sooner, than later.
Shortly after BB joined SOLO she told me & Joe she was preparing an article on appropriate presentation. She repeatedly said to me she didn't think I would publish it. I repeatedly assured her I would. But it never materialised. I guess what you heard last night was it. My fear is that BB believes that anger is never appropriate, even though she has one hell of a temper herself when riled. So, to paraphrase your questionódo you really endorse appropriate anger? Does she?Certainly, to both questions. BB gave some examples. Basically, she advises against getting angry at people just because they disagree with you, which we both see happening a lot. She believes that one must reserve one's wrath for people who behave viciously -- e.g., Nazis, racists, etc. -- not people who, for instance, oppose concealed carry gun laws. (Both pro and anti gun folks "see" bodies of innocent victims as a consequence of their opponents' goals, and both sides would do well to remember that in their discussions, rather than assume that what is "self-evident" to them is so to the other person.) More on this in my report on her talk...
As an aside, on the matter of Kelley speaking to the libertarians, in my view he was entirely justified in doing so & Schwartz et al were completely unjustified in using that as a pretext for booting him. The ARI are their own worst enemies when they engage in that kind of behaviour. I have no truck with it. The fact that I have changed my mind about BB's character doesn't mean I've gone to the cultish "dark side" any more than it justifies your inappropriate psychologising innuendoes about my motives on the other thread, Roger.Don't flatter yourself, Linz. :-) I wasn't referring to your motives in the comment I made on the other thread. I had two very specific people in mind; I won't name them on-list, but the context makes the identity of one of them fairly obvious.
I did mention your name in the P.S. to that post, so perhaps that's why you thought I was referring to you above. I guess I deserve that misinterpretation on your part for making a cheap Roark/Toohey joke at your expense. But the truth, Linz, is that I wasn't psychologizing you any more than BB was taking potshots at you in her talk last night. I was psychologizing those other two people. If I were going to psychologize you, however, right about now I'd suggest that you are being a little bit paranoid. :-)
I'm glad you agree that ARI's excommunication of Kelley was unjustified. I assume you think so, not just for speaking to the libertarians, but in general. But whatever. I agree that they are their own worst enemies. On the positive side, they are still doing a lot of good work -- two steps forward, one step back, approximately speaking. My wife and I have attended two of their free lectures this fall -- one on neo-conservativism, the other on "intelligent design" -- and they were both excellent. And their program to give several hundred thousand copies of Atlas Shrugged to high school English students is a wonderful idea.