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Post 20

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 5:46pmSanction this postReply
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Roger, there's probably nothing in your most recent post that I'd disagree with, if the problem of inappropriate anger were as morbid as you suggest. Maybe it is, & I'm not just seeing it, but I strongly suspect that when critics referred to "angry Ayn Rand" it was her appropriate anger that discomfited them.

My first post on this thread said:

I wonder if Ms. Branden is going to address the undermining effects of lining up with Namblaphiles, smearing, Shadowlands back-biting, ARIan-type refusal to debate issues raised in posthumous biographies, & angry hatred of anger just because it's anger.

The last-mentioned is a form of inappropriate anger I'd consider a real problem, just as I consider the other items real problems.

Linz




Post 21

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 4:20amSanction this postReply
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Good posts Lindsay!



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Post 22

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 3:03pmSanction this postReply
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When it comes to anger, Linz has it right once again.  However, I prefer to call useful anger "righteous" rather than "appropriate".  The hotter description reminds us that our anger works best when it lights a fire under the ass of its recipient (including ourselves) to do the right thing.  Because righteous anger can stir us and others out of moral complacency into action against evil it is an emotion in service to reason.

Not all of us can muster righteous anger.  Not everyone has the full kit of emotions to employ, at least not effectively.  So for many anger becomes vengeful wrath, mindless rage, or (because of the gooey muck of niceness a lot of us, including SOLOists, like to wallow in) dyspeptic erectile dysfunction (to provide the correct clinical term for the Linzism "limp-dicked").

That's OK.  If righteous anger isn't in your playbook, don't use it to oppose evil.  Do what you do best.  But enough of this tsk-tsking of those who will use fire to burn down the sophistry, the invincible ignorance, the complacency, and cowardice that shelters the vile and the wicked from the disinfecting sunshine of the truth.

Andy




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Post 23

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 3:29pmSanction this postReply
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As for Branden's hand-wringing over factionalism, apparently she has lost the spirit of Objectivism.  Objectivism applied to one's life is the philosophy of living for yourself - not remaking the world into a society of like-minded Randians.  You don't need the agreement of anyone else to live an Objectivist life right here, right now!  You certainly don't need to belong to a movement to let Objectivism guide you to a happy life.

All you need is a faction of one to free yourself from the ideas that poison a rational mind.  Each and everyone of us can relish that liberation if we want it.  However, most of us, including too many SOLOists, are too frightened to live outside the smothering embrace of some collective or another.  Who cares if ARI hates TOC, TOC hates ARI, and both hate SOLO because it won't conform to either of them?  Why worry which one to belong to?  Objectivism doesn't need a herd of independent minds to validate it.

Objectivism will endure because it correctly explicates the true structure of knowledge no matter how few of us get Rand's philosophy right.  But if Objectivism were fundamentally flawed, it wouldn't matter how united all of its factions were, because reality would trump it, like it trumps all irrationality in the end.

So enjoy Objectivism for YOURSELF.  Don't give a damn if anyone else ever joins you in the happiness the knowledge of it brings to your life.

Andy

(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/23, 3:32pm)




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Post 24

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 3:31pmSanction this postReply
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Andy,

What good does it do to yell and scream at fellow classical liberals when you can try to explain your position instead?  I think anger is fine as long as it directed toward people or behaviors you despise. I also keep in my head the possibility that I am mistaken. If I am mistaken and keep a reasonable tone, how much less apologizing do I have to do than if I blow up and call people names etc.

How much yelling and anger should a reasonable person put up with before he decides it's just not worth it? Now, I generally prefer an upfront, in your face expletive to insults behind my back, but generally i prefer neither.

Jim




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Post 25

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 3:39pmSanction this postReply
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How much yelling and anger should a reasonable person put up with before he decides it's just not worth it?
None.

Now do me a favor, Jim, and actually think about what I wrote instead of trying to find a wedge to be contrary with.

Andy




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Post 26

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 3:46pmSanction this postReply
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Great to see you back, Andy, you fellow fire-breather! Where the hell have you been?! I was worried you'd been seduced into attending some Californian anger management course! :-)



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Post 27

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 3:51pmSanction this postReply
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I don't see where Barbara Branden lost the spirit of Objectivism AT ALL.

There is a whole hell of a lot of difference between righteous anger and outright bickering.

I have seen too much bickering myself - and guess what? It does not change anything at all. Not even the bickerers.

Also, I find the issue of removing context (i.e., conveniently ignoring that Barbara made a speech directed towards a philosophical movement and political party, both hopelessly divided into various factions by bickering) fairly amusing.

Blank-out.

Er... I forgot that there are new owners of Objectivism running around nowadays...

Michael





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Post 28

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 4:18pmSanction this postReply
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Andy,

I did think about what you wrote, I just let my Buddhist wife do all the fire-breathing in my family :-). Rand portrays virtuous characters with a full range of emotional timbre, from Ellis Wyatt to John Galt, but it was a rare exception when they took out their anger on each other. 

I have no problem with factionalism as long as it doesn't get too ugly. in fact, I would think factionalism is a great aid in helping you avoid people you would prefer not to associate with. I generally couldn't give a rodent's rectum whether someone was from one camp or another or just content to be an independent Objectivist-sympathizer. What I do think is counterproductive is for the "sides" to see each other as the immediate enemy. I think that is a great waste of talent and a misdirection of anger.

Jim

(Edited by James Heaps-Nelson on 11/23, 5:32pm)




Post 29

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 7:32pmSanction this postReply
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Who cares if ARI hates TOC, TOC hates ARI, and both hate SOLO because it won't conform to either of them? Why worry which one to belong to? Objectivism doesn't need a herd of independent minds to validate it.


Andy,

This is exactly the words I was looking for to describe my gut reactions to the 'dramatic distractions'. If I was going to pick a philosophy group to learn from because it had the most people in it (or the loudest, or the angriest) then I would never have chosen Objectivism in the first place. Thank you for reminding me that the work doesn't end when I find passionate people to learn from.



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Post 30

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 6:38amSanction this postReply
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Linz,

As a matter of fact, I was managing my disappointment with those SOLOists who were more horrified by the fact that I was not nice to Reed than they were of his perversion of Objectivism to rationalize adult-child sexual relationships.  I was genuinely surprised to discover how this post-modern mania for niceness, that I touched upon in my "New Puritans" article and described more fully in my "Backbone of Benevolence" article, has so many self-proclaimed Objectivists in its grip.  I had naively thought that facts, including a man's own words about his disgusting beliefs, would have a bearing upon the judgment these Objectivists should draw.

But it seems that the demands of niceness have anesthetized their faculties for critical thinking - so how much of my righteous anger should I waste upon them?  Not a lot, I figured out.  The DED are immunue to its passion.

Andy




Post 31

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 6:41amSanction this postReply
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William,

I too enjoy that epiphany when someone puts a few good words to an inchoate put powerful thought of mine.  Glad I could be of service to you in that way.

Andy




Post 32

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 6:50amSanction this postReply
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Slippery Mick,

You once again display your capacious talent for missing the point because you can't see beyond the short horizon of that grotty little mix of nonsense in your head you call an objective philosophy.  To wit, you complain ...
Also, I find the issue of removing context (i.e., conveniently ignoring that Barbara made a speech directed towards a philosophical movement and political party, both hopelessly divided into various factions by bickering) fairly amusing.
Of course, Branden's bemoaning of factions dividing libertarian politics was precisely the context for my observation that a happy Objectivist is a faction of one.

Andy




Post 33

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 6:52amSanction this postReply
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That's fine, Jiim.  So what's your point?

Andy




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Post 34

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 8:12amSanction this postReply
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LOLOLOLOLOLOL...

The Ally Oop of reason strikes again.

A lady essentially talks to a political party. He complains that she is talking about it to them instead of something else. He wants her to say to them that they don't matter at all.

Dayaamm!!!!

(Thump thump thump...)

Michael




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Post 35

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 8:31amSanction this postReply
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Andy,

 

I was simply registering my disagreement with the importance you place on rage and anger. I disagree with you that it is very useful in getting other people to do the right thing. I think some people use anger to inspire themselves. Three that come to mind are John McEnroe, Ayn Rand, and Lindsay Perigo. However, I admire these people for qualities other than anger: talent, genius, and the ability to touch the naked soul.

 

Now, I don't think in any of these cases you could take away their anger and maintain their creativity, vitality and sense of life. It is integral to their personality.That was the mistake Jim Kilbourne and Barbara Branden made and they let their indignation get the best of them.

 

However, I don't think anger is something to be promoted for its own sake. I don't like to see schoolyard kids emulating John McEnroe, I don't like Peikoff's pettiness and vindictiveness without the genius of Rand, and Lindsay, love him as I do, sometimes burns good and rotten alike with his anger.

 

Hero worship is a terribly important part of Objectivism. Discovering the hero within is even more important.

 

Jim

 




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Post 36

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 12:41pmSanction this postReply
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James, you've got to the nub of this issue in your post above. You write:

I don't think anger is something to be promoted for its own sake.

I agree completely. Gratuitous anger is as irrational as gratuitous anything-else. I do not promote that. I am against that. Please do read what I said about it at TOC-Vancouver. But that isn't the problem here. The problem is the promotion of anti-anger for its own sake—the view that one must always be "nice," regardless of to whom and about what, that being "nice" is the only thing that matters in life. By this view, any anger is to be condemned because it is anger, never mind what manner of outrage it may be directed at. And Andy is right—we have a lot of advocates of that view here (only, unlike Andy, I don't regard them as SOLOists, since they obviously haven't even read the Credo, let alone made any effort to apply it. I regard them as sickly, amoral appeasers & deride them as "limp-dicks."). They are not allies in the battle against tyranny & unreason—they are accomplices in enabling such vileness to prevail.

Linz



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Post 37

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:18pmSanction this postReply
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Linz,

Could you provide us with the names of some of the people who promote the idea of "anti-anger for it's own sake?" And maybe where they have posted about that view?

Philip Coates comes close, but I can't think of anybody else from reading the posts on Solo.

Obviously, anger is not only justified, but good and morally correct in the right situations. Most everybody I read on Solo seems to think that.

Michael




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Post 38

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:28pmSanction this postReply
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Yeah, Linz, what Michael said! Folks formerly on SOLO feel this way, too. Such as Barbara B. and James K. Justifiable, appropriate, righteous anger -- not gratuitous, communication-destroying, vicious venom-spewing.

REB




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Post 39

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:41pmSanction this postReply
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Well how nice that we're all in agreement.



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