|It's been some time since I've been employed by TOC, but as one with a unique "insider's" perspective, I couldn't be happier about the move.|
I'm amused by the monastic sorts who believe that engaging one's adversaries on the existing battlefields of the Real World is an innately corrupting enterprise. Like those holier-than-thous who harbor a religious disdain for The Evil World, these Objectivist "Idealists" apparently believe we should instead fight our battles by computer, from the safety and sanctity of our armchairs, walled off from humanity in remote and inaccessible places. (If not Poughkeepsie, perhaps Antarctica...)
Sorry, folks. As one who has had a measure of success spreading Objectivist messages and values via major media, I have a weary contempt for those timid, nonconfrontational souls who prefer to think that mixing it up with people in the real world might sully one's purity. That seems more a confession of their own susceptibility to compromise...or perhaps their own fear of confrontation...than it is a valid critique of the TOC move to Washington.
Here are the brute facts of modern communication in the U. S.
There are three centers of cultural, political and media influence in America: Washington, New York and Los Angeles, in that order. (Boston is probably a very remote runner-up.) If you aren't in those locations -- preferably, Washington -- you will not forge associations with major publishers and editors; you cannot be on immediate call for fast-breaking talk show and interview opportunities; and you cannot network with likeminded denizens of think tanks and and advocacy groups. Moreover, how can you attract participation and coverage for news conferences, panel discussions, seminars, etc., if your audience and the media have to make distant, multi-day excursions just to attend?
Those who criticize TOC's move to Washington would have more credibility if any of them had demonstrated their own experience and success in spreading Objectivism in the culture.
Those who criticize the ascension of Ed Hudgins to executive director would have more credibility if they themselves had any track record of running an organized enterprise.
And those who believe that freeing up David Kelley from day-to-day business management chores, in order to do more serious scholarly work, represents a betrayal of Objectivism, are simply beyond hope and beneath belief.
(Edited by Robert Bidinotto on 12/16, 5:05pm)