|In fact somebody did send in a link to a conservative site that used the book to take an ad hominem swipe at Objectivism. It's the only evidence I've seen that anyone outside Objectivist circles has even read it. Your claim that such people are "cheering it on, and would love to add even more fuel to the fire" is probably true but probably exaggerated. Buckley did the same in National Review at the time of the original breakup, and look where it got him.|
Such internecine feuds seem to be inevitable among people who take ideas seriously. Intellectual history moves on just the same. Movements are not identical to their ideas, and the latter survive the personal hostilities. If they were going to stop Objectivism they would have stopped it some time during the Nixon administration, as a lot of conservatives hoped. If Comte and St.-Simon helped bring Marxism about, I'd say their ideas had a huge impact, even if their names are much less familiar.
(Side note: St.-Simon wrote a Parable in which he imagined what would happen to the world if you took out the few hundred most economically, intellectually and artistically productive people in it, versus what would happen if you took out a comparable number of nobility and high clergy. Maybe he had a bigger influence than we thought.)
(Edited by Peter Reidy on 6/04, 11:36am)