What happened? Why the rift?I was a long-time "ARI" Objectivist. Maybe I still am one but I've been ostracized by Harry Binswanger for something along the lines of not calling David Kelly evil (frankly I don't really understand what the reason was, but it had something to do with the fact that I thought I should be able to buy whatever books I wanted, David Kelly's or Kant's; Binswanger evidently thought this violated his "Loyalty Oath"), so it kind of puts a damper on things.
Anyway, the rift seems to center on Peikoff's "Fact and Value" vs. Kelly's "Truth and Toleration." Anyone who associates with, or apparently, who buys Kelly's books without apology (even just one, as I did), is anathema to ARI. I think ARI principals think they are acting under the premise of "don't sanction evil" - they consider Kelly dishonest and evil, and therefore won't sanction him.
The problem I see is that these principals demand that others (e.g., me) come to the same conclusions they did about Kelly. I devoted enough time to the matter to be able to conclude that Kelly's confused about some things, but I reject any demand that I evaluate him morally before buying his books and as a condition for being on an ARI-sanctioned list like HBL.
For me this issue wasn't about Kelly, but about the virtue of independence. Granting that ARI principals are right about Kelly, I think they are wrong to push people into choosing sides. Choosing sides justly requires careful analysis and evaluation, not just about who is right and who is wrong, but about what the consequences of that should be. Even a good thinker would have to devote considerable time to this, let alone someone new to Objectivism who's just figuring things out. (That's leaving aside the intrinsicists, who can rationalize faster than you can say "Ellsworth Toohey"). It's at best presumptuous on their part to demand from all their associates that they look into this Kelly/Peikoff thing in detail and swear allegiance to ARI against the Evil David Kelly as a condition for remaining associated with them. I'm reminded of some of Linz's favorite words, but I'll have the good taste to refrain from writing them.
I don't agree with everything said on this forum either, but I do feel accepted nonetheless.Relative to Objectivism, there are some truly whacky things said in this forum. That's what happens when you let just anyone come in and post.
There's something to be said for non-paranoid forms of quality control, and for lists intended only for serious Objectivists. That's not what Solo is, and that's fine (it's obviously not immoral to have a wide-open forum), but the other kind of list is fine too, and it's the kind I prefer.