Yes, you understand my use of 'balance'. And you understand that my wish that different groups see some benefit coming from the other (while still disagreeing with them), would result in less unhelpful conflict and more benevolence, and help Objectivism as a movement.
You are right that both sets of values can, and are being pursued - to a degree - within both groups. You fight irrational attempts to add things to Objectivism that don’t belong. And I can only assume that there are differences of opinion, however small, in the way “closed” is to be understood and implemented in the other group. Yet there is a strong enough difference between the group’s approaches to warrant, nay, force two separate groups. That doesn’t mean that over the course of time, as Objectivism becomes more prominent, and more internal differences resolved, that it would not meld into a single group (containing some differing opinions – like biology is).
To say that both approaches are "flawed", as a whole, isn't how I'd say it. In a context of a movement we have a large number of individuals - each with ideas that vary from slightly to significantly different from one another. And we are all changing our ideas as we grow and learn. Different isn't the same as "flawed". There is a utopian or idealistic vision (not the best choices of words) of THE correct view that we all, rightly, work towards. But our arrival may never be fully realized - except way down the road in the distant future (as it is, for example, in the sense that there are now elements of the hard sciences that are only questioned, even on the detail level, by nut-cases). Both the orthodox and the most progressive of Objectivist schools (nut-cases excluded) are in agreement on the most basic principles. But not on many other principles – not by far. So, I’m not saying ‘flawed’ as much as I’m saying some disagreements are still in the works and reasonably so. Some of them may be false arguments; some may be carrying more heat than is helpful; and believing in man’s rational nature, I believe others will find a final resolution.
I am opposed to the same things you are: rote memorization, loyalty to a creed rather than an idea, cult of personality, mixing religion in, denying or ignoring a valid principle to achieve greater attraction to new-comers, etc. I've found nowhere that I disagree on specific actions or positions in this area.
I'm glad you see that what I'm aiming at as breaking out of the zero-sum view and finding the higher, more fundamental values all objectivists share - for the purpose of greater benevolence and increased efficacy in the spread of Objectivism.
I say that in the larger picture there is no zero-sum situation here. I see the zero-sum picture as an error made by both sides. To the extent Objectivism grows it is a success for both sides. I see things being done on both side that are good. In science there are still disagreements (what is the unit of selection in evolution - the gene, the individual, or the species?). But most parties hold to a common, higher value of biology. And each side understands that a friendly adversarial approach helps science. The more benevolence the more useful the collaboration, the quicker and easier each side is able to discover its 'flaws' and discard them.
I appreciate your response. (There is such a difference between honest, intelligent arguments against one's position and the hollow feel of empty rhetoric). I feel understood in this area.