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McGroarty

What's the deal with the Kelley Objectivists?

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I think this one of the main reasons why the Objectivist movement has not been as successful as it could have been.

I wouldn't change a thing about the movement and for me personally it has been people like Stephen that attracted me to it in the first place.

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Our local group http://www.aristotleadventure.com/pao/ takes this approach of specifying what we want and what we don't want. The results have been good.

I like the overall sense which is conveyed and the particular way it is worded for your SPON group. However, for this more public forum here, and considering the purpose for which it was formed, I do not think it is appropriate to exclude "individuals who sanction or otherwise engage with the LP, TOC, or any organization, besides The Ayn Rand Institute, which claims to represent Objectivism." I would not socialize with these sort of people, but as long as they are respectful and do not actively promote the kind of ideas and organizations you mention (and others, such as communism, for example) then I see nothing wrong per se in allowing them here. But I would take a strong and unforgiving stance and disallow even the slightest disrespect for or attack on the personnage of Ayn Rand, her philosophy of Objectivism, the Ayn Rand Institute, or the advocates thereof. People can disagree, and argue accordingly, and they can ask for clarifications, but they should not be permitted to demean, smear or personally attack the ideas and people we value, or promote such antithetical ideas themselves or the organizations that embody them.

And, just to be clear, though I agree with the principle of exclusion of those who support or sanction the LP, TOC, etc., as is implemented in your SPON group and on an email list such as HBL, I understand this forum to have been formed mostly for the purpose of having a place for students, and I grant more leeway to young people as to the groups and organizations they belong to, than I grant to adults. That is why, as long as they are subject to the stringent rules in their behavior as outlined above, I would allow some people here that I would not otherwise choose to socialize with, nor would I want them to be included in my personal list or organization.

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I find the attacks on me by stephen_speicher rather sad.

I have not attacked you; I have attacked the ideas you have advocated that are contrary to Objectivism. What is sad is that rather than defend your positions, it is you who has made this personal instead. You attack me by your mischaracterizations, and blame me for your failure to defend your ideas.

But unfortunately he prefers personal attacks to rational argument.
Your continued attempt to hide behind this mantra is duly noted.

I think this one of the main reasons why the Objectivist movement has not been as successful as it could have been.

Au contraire. If you study the history of ideas and understand how ideas are spread, and how they influence a culture, then Objectivism has been, and continues to be, wildly successful. And the way that it is done is by taking a strong, uncompromising stance for what is true and right, rather than watering down the philosophy and compromise by trying to "reach out" to our enemies. The success of Objectivism will not be achieved by a mind meld with those who are antithetical to the philosophy, nor is the philosophy advanced by those who combine it with wishy-washy ideas. Objectivism will be successful, and will be advanced, by reaching the best and brightest minds who are grounded in reason and who will become the teachers of tomorrow. I will leave the cause of rehabilitating the Libertarians, to the Salvation Army.

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I wouldn't change a thing about the movement and for me personally it has been people like Stephen that attracted me to it in the first place.

Thank you for that. And what Objectivism needs is more people like you who understand the philosophy and take an uncompromising stance in its support.

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Two modest proposals.

Limiting new member posting to the introduction and basic question areas for their first few posting days would localize the chaos. Most problem users would be spotted early on.

Alternately, a forum could be added wherein users answer a few basic questions in order to gain access. Other users would ask the applicant questions about his answers if any don't indicate a basic understanding of the rules and board culture.

In either case, posting access would be limited, not read access.

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Two modest proposals.

Limiting new member posting to the introduction and basic question areas for their first few posting days would localize the chaos. Most problem users would be spotted early on.

I think that is a good idea. I seem to recall that that is suggested in one of the policy write-ups for the forum, but a means to enforce it strictly would make sense.

Alternately, a forum could be added wherein users answer a few basic questions in order to gain access. Other users would ask the applicant questions about his answers if any don't indicate a basic understanding of the rules and board culture.

I for one do not like this idea. It might seem too much like an inquisition rather than a welcome to the forum. I do not think this forum has a problem of being overrun by the wrong sort of people, but rather the wrong sort of people are permitted to stay longer than they should. I think it is enforcement of stricter rules, not better qualification, that is needed.

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I think that is a good idea. I seem to recall that that is suggested in one of the policy write-ups for the forum, but a means to enforce it strictly would make sense.

I for one do not like this idea. It might seem too much like an inquisition rather than a welcome to the forum. I do not think this forum has a problem of being overrun by the wrong sort of people, but rather the wrong sort of people are permitted to stay longer than they should. I think it is enforcement of stricter rules, not better qualification, that is needed.

It seems that without at least some form of posting of the 'rules', you can expect many more of the 'wrong sort of people'.

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At the very beginning I was apprehensive about joining this forum because I felt it was more populated by Objectivist newbies prone to asking "how can we allow companies to have a monopoly on meat" or simply hostile users without any interest in the philosophy. It originally seemed a bit like HPO, with too many questions (benevolent and not), and too people capable or willing to answer them. However, I felt that a good redeeming feature of this forum was presence of a few respectable 'cool heads', but especially and most importantly the presence of the Speicher family.

Now, being a member of the forum for quite some time, I feel that my original negative impression was wrong, that the number of 'rabble rousers' is quite small, that newbie questions are answered promptly, and that there's no being swamped by people ignorant of the philosophy.

So to make a long post short, I don't have a problem with 'more wrong sort of people'. I feel that at the current stage the forum can absorb more askers of questions. However I do think that we may need somewhat tighter moderator coverage and participation. Or maybe what we need is simply a promotion to moderator level of those members who fit the criteria for appropriate presence and participation.

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McGroarty very patiently writes:

<<An appeal to what you feel is common sense is a problem, however.

<<I'm going to assume you agree with these points. Please tell me if you don't:

<<1. There is only one reality. Existence doesn't change from person to person.

<<2. The purpose of Objectivism is to derive an accurate understanding of existence.

<<3. When objectively deriving information, 1 and 2 don't allow the possibility of different results between us. Since we share the same existence, there can be only one correct representation.>>

So far, so good!

<<Now, the non-Kelley Objectivism is fully derived from only a few uncontestable facts about consciousness and existence. There isn't a single element of a subjective hunch or an appeal to popular common sense. Any appeal to common sense or pragmatism in a modification of Objectivism would represent the first element of that kind.

<<Why is this so important?

<<This is important because Objectivism, when objectively derived as it stands, leaves no room for conflict among facts. It is an accurate reflection of existence as it is. This is its entire value.

<<When you introduce a personal valuation as fact without having methodically derived it from other facts, you allow for conflict. If you go on your gut, your evalutation of what you believe is potentially different from mine, is it not? There is no guarantee at all that every person will share your common sense belief. Therefore, to use this valuation to modify Objectivism is to destroy Objectivism's ability to produce a single outcome. This necessarily means that Objectivism itself has been destroyed, if we agreed to its purpose as providing a single true analysis of reality.>>

I'm a little lost here. I used "common sense" in a different manner. Your whole approach to this vexed question is vastly divergent from my own. Not worse, but certainly divergent. You don't seem to be addressing or contesting my points. Any differetiation on fine points of doctrice or any quibbles over metaphysical esoterica doesn't seem to justify creating a whole new word for the Kelleys and Brandens of the world. Nor does this proposed new term seem useful -- just the opposite.

Perhaps the point I'm missing here is that Kelley is guilty of some seemingly tiny but actually huge error. Maybe it's a secretly diabolically fatal flaw. I'm not really sure...

<<If you understand and agree to all of the above, then we can't agree to modify Objectivism without taking the time to objectively derive facts. I understand that it is tedious, but this is why Objectivists enjoy an advantage over lazy minds, isn't it?

<<Most of your points are subjective. There is one that stands out as thoughtful but problematic, however. When you talk about the different kinds of communists debating who is correct, and whether they are all still communists in the end, they do share one factor: They all have errors in their thinking. Do you agree? This means conflict isn't important, because there are an infinite number of potential falsehoods for every truth.>>

I think Objectivist philosophy describes reality far and away the best, but it isn't necessarily perfect. But invariably different views are at a different remove from truth and this amount is important. So too the type and nature of the belief. I still think that people which share a vast commonality of beliefs, especially the fundamental premises, deserve to be called the same name. Such accurate terminolgy benefits all. Although...perhaps it's possible to call Kelley a perverto-Objectivist or demento-Objectivist or some such? Not sure...

<<It's possible to debate back and forth with two viewpoints and assign them equal merit and put them under the same classification if they are both incorrect. I might argue that granite rocks are the best magnet, and you might argue that granite pebbles are the better attractor. We are both wrong, though others might still call us both Busted Granite Magnetists because of all the assumptions we share. Here, we are defined by common error.

<<On the other hand, when we debate back and forth with two viewpoints, can we assign them equal merit if one viewpoint is true and the other is different?

<<If you argue that square pegs best fit square holes, can I be correct if I contradict you by holding the circle peg square hole position? We might agree that pegs go in holes, that the peg doesn't go in sideways, that pegs can't be carved from balloons, and a million other things. Only one position can be correct when we're dealing with a complete set of truths however. This is true no matter how much I'd like my round peg square hole philosophy to be included in Peggingist beliefs. Common sense says if you hit it hard enough...>>

I really appreciate the effort level here. You certainly strike me as an honest, benevolent, fair-minded debater. But most of these points still seem aschew to the issue at hand.

<<Similarly if Objectivism is a means for deriving reality, there can't be two Objectivisms that differ on true reality, can there be? Only one can be Objectivism. On the other hand, if Errorism was a philosophy designed to produce errors, we could have an infinite number of different systems all producing different outputs, all called Errorism.

<<I've tried to be very basic, honest, and civil. Please let me know if you see a problem in anything I have so far said.

<<If you would like me to point you at a couple books that would be useful in learning to derive your own fully objective position on Kelley, I can point to where to begin. You might find you learn something, or you might find a way to prove us all wrong.>>

Certainly I'd be interested in the books. Anything that cuts to the chase. But short articles would be better to start off with. I believe in living life -- not pouring over obscure epistemic texts. I'm eager to know Kelley's three or so most important errors and I'd like to know them quickly and clearly. I'd also like to hear his view on all this. Giving both sides equal time is important here.

Ultimately, I tend to regard Objectivists as people who agree with that famous Ayn Rand statement on the websites of ARI and TOC: "...with reason as his only absolute." So too those who agree with Rand as she presented her philosophy "while standing on one foot." Am I wrong or naive to do this? At the very least, I agree with every single word of these two. (But so does Kelley and Branden, maybe. Hmmm.)

What a shame, by the way, that the respective antagonists won't hold a debate on all this! Both strike me as dishonest, cowardly, and evading. One side "has better things to do" while the other doesn't want to "sanction" evil. To my mind, both are traitors to the phenomenon of open honest discussion, rational discourse, and true philosophy.

At the very least, the lesser acolytes should agree to a full fair debate, with the video then made public to all. So too Objectivists vs. libertarians. What are they all afraid of? If they're all so right in their views then a challenge of this type should be welcome -- a golden opportunity to establish their truth and virtue once and for all.

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It seems that without at least some form of posting of the 'rules', you can expect many more of the 'wrong sort of people'.

The general policy for the forum, as stated in the FAQ for forum policy, says:

"This website was created for the specific purpose of coordinating and sharing information and facilitating interaction between students and fans of Objectivism. This means that this website should not be used to spread ideas contrary or unrelated to Objectivism. Agreement with Objectivism is not required to participate in the forums, as anyone interested in Ayn Rand’s ideas may join and off topic discussions are allowed -- but they must not be disruptive or off-topic from the particular forum they’re in."

I think that this is consistent with what several of us have been saying in regard to policy, but it needs to be expanded to cover more ground and to be more specific. However, as stated it is sufficent to justify kicking a creature like BigDaddySexMachine off of these grounds. Unfortunately, this has not been done, so even though I do think the rules need to be made more detailed and specific, more importantly the moderators need to act more swiftly in enforcing the rules. I really see no evidence that there are too many of the wrong sort of people here, just that the few that are here need to be sent packing more swiftly.

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A reminder:

If you want to do something about the behavior on this forum, I am accepting requests for new moderators.

If you have suggestions for forum rules or policies, you should post them on the “About the Website” forum.

If you have complaints about the behavior of particular members, you should use the “report” function or contact me directly.

If you think someone clearly deserves to be banned or censured, you should report that member. Getting into an argument with him wastes your time and the moderators, and makes it a lot less likely that the offensive comments will be deleted.

A link to the forum rules is on the top of every page.

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I've been comparing the two websites for ARI and TOC, and assuming that the websites give an accurate view of the approach of each organization, here's what I find. ARI is far more Ayn Rand-focused, while TOC is far mor anybody who ever wrote anything about Ayn Rand-focused. ARI focuses on primary sources, while TOC focuses on interpretations. ARI is not a linksy site, while TOC will give you 0-2 degrees of separation to links of those who routinely disparage Ayn Rand. Their "objectivist links" page will lead you to those who advocate of just about any position you could ever imagine. At ARI, where there are links, you always get Objectivism. But again, the focus is on Ayn Rand's works at ARI. At TOC, the focus seems to be: What do we want Ayn Rand's works to mean?

There is no real reason to patronize TOC, unless you want a place that softens itself enough to include just about anybody. If you want to hear or read what a variety of approaches to philosophy lead to, then okay. But if you want Objectivism, go to ARI.

By the way, this goes FAR deeper than just approaches to Libertarianism. It is about approaches to thought and action themselves.

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I've been comparing the two websites for ARI and TOC, and assuming that the websites give an accurate view of the approach of each organization, here's what I find.  ARI is far more Ayn Rand-focused, while TOC is far mor anybody who ever wrote anything about Ayn Rand-focused.  ARI focuses on primary sources, while TOC focuses on interpretations.  ARI is not a linksy site, while TOC will give you 0-2 degrees of separation to links of those who routinely disparage Ayn Rand.  Their "objectivist links" page will lead you to those who  advocate of just about any position you could ever imagine.  At ARI, where there are links, you always get Objectivism.  But again, the focus is on Ayn Rand's works at ARI.  At TOC, the focus seems to be: What do we want Ayn Rand's works to mean?

There is no real reason to patronize TOC, unless you want a place that softens itself enough to include just about anybody.  If you want to hear or read what a variety of approaches to philosophy lead to, then okay.  But if you want Objectivism, go to ARI.

By the way, this goes FAR deeper than just approaches to Libertarianism.  It is about approaches to thought and action themselves.

I wanted to see what they are about so i requested their info packet. It was really watered down, the only thing i did like was some inspirational posters with AR quotes on them, but I won't buy them, because I don't want to support the group. :worry:

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By the way, this goes FAR deeper than just approaches to Libertarianism.  It is about approaches to thought and action themselves.

I did some research on TOC's trustees. If the Internet serves me correctly, then at least 4 out of 7 TOC trustees are diehard libertarians. Frank Bond, the TOC chairman, also sits on the board of the Cato Institute. Frank Bubb used to write op-eds for Cato. Robert Levy is currently a Cato senior fellow. And John Aglialoro is an elected Libertarian official in New Jersey.

It's unclear to me whether the other three TOC trustees are actually libertarians.

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What would be regarded as the main differences between the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) and The Objectivist Center (TOC)? I am somewhat aware that their division exists partly due to fallouts Ayn Rand had with some of her colleagues, but do the two institutions complement each other, or are they in competition with each other? Do they servce different needs entirely?

EDIT: Damn, I forgot to capitalise the acronyms, I can't seem to be able to do that in the edit function...

Edited by Strangelove

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You may have capitalized the acronyms. The forum software tries to be too helpful at times and will tweak what the programmer thought would be ALL-CAPS SHOUTING.

Your question's been discussed a few times, often at great length. I think this was the most recent. Searching for Kelly (head of TOC) will turn up many more threads.

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What would be regarded as the main differences between the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) and The Objectivist Center (TOC)? I am somewhat aware that their division exists partly due to fallouts Ayn Rand had with some of her colleagues, but do the two institutions complement each other, or are they in competition with each other? Do they servce different needs entirely?

The major difference is that TOC actively and deliberately betrays Ayn Rand's legacy by <A HREF="http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2005/01/appeasement-center.html">advocating altruism</A>, <A HREF="http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2004/08/documents-sanction-and-confusion.html">endorsing pragmatism</A>, <A HREF="http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2004/08/new-low-for-objectivist-center.html">sanctioning subjectivist libertarians</A>, <A HREF="http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2004/08/rumor-and-supposition.html">promoting Ayn Rand's dishonest critics and biographers</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2004/03/compare-and-contrast.html">more</A>. For those seriously interested in and committed to Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, the Ayn Rand Institute is the place to be.

I was a TOC supporter for many years, so I'm all too familiar with the organization. More of my commentary on TOC and ARI is <A HREF="http://www.dianahsieh.com/misc/toc.html">here</A>, if you're interested.

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Two years before her death, Ayn Rand wrote: “If you wonder why I am so particular about protecting the integrity of the term ‘Objectivism,’ my reason is that ‘Objectivism’ is the name I have given to my philosophy-—therefore, anyone using that name for some philosophical hodgepodge of his own, without my knowledge or consent, is guilty of the fraudulent presumption of trying to put thoughts into my brain (or of trying to pass his thinking off as mine—-an attempt which fails, for obvious reasons). . . What is the proper policy on this issue? If you agree with some tenets of Objectivism, but disagree with others, do no call yourself an Objectivist; give proper authorship credit for the parts you agree with—-and then indulge in any flights of fancy you wish, on your own.”

This is obviously a touchy subject, and I don't want to cause people any more pain, but several things kind of jump out here.

The basic idea is that Ayn didn't contradict herself or change her mind throughout her whole long career as novelist and philosopher. But no one is without internal inconsistencies and failures, and everyone changes and grows as they age (hopefully for the better).

Ayn also heavily implies that if you disagree with her thinking, by necessity your thought is a "hodgepodge" and you're "indulging in flights of fancy." Moreover any dispute about Objectivist theory or doctrine is an act of "fraudulent presumption [and] of trying to put thoughts into my brain [and] of trying to pass [your] thinking off as mine."

But what if your disagreements are honest or even, god forbid, appropriate? :)

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If you disagree with Ayn Rand, then why would you want to call yourself an Objectivist, the definition of which includes "agrees (entirely) with (the principles of) the philosophy of Ayn Rand", and the relevant meaning of which in this case includes "agrees with all the philosophical errors Ayn Rand committed"? If you consider Ayn Rand's philosophy error-ridden, why would you want to advertise your agreement with it?

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The basic idea is that Ayn didn't contradict herself or change her mind throughout her whole long career as novelist and philosopher. But no one is without internal inconsistencies and failures, and everyone changes and grows as they age (hopefully for the better).

How does your first sentence above follow from the passage you quoted? I'm not clear on the connection.

You say that [according to the passage you cited] Ayn Rand "didn't contradict herself or change her mind throughtout her whole long career as a novelist and philosopher." What do you mean by that? That she never contradicted herself or altered her view on anything for any reason? That would seem a bit bizarre to me. Do tell who holds such a view of Ayn Rand. I don't think I've ever met them. I think you are constructing an unusual interpretation of her words. After all, didn't Ayn Rand change her mind early on about her estimation of Nietzsche? Didn't she change her mind about Goldwater? About the right-wing in America? Didn't she modify her evaluation of particular individuals and organizations? Etc. And isn't it the case that she did all of this while simultaneously defining, holding and living a consistent and integrated philosophy? That she did (on both accounts) should neither surprise nor bewilder. They are not mutually exclusive propositions.

You see, I've never met someone who truly believes the above strawman depiction of Ayn Rand, but I have met people who concoct the boogey-man Ayn Rand sycophant who supposedly believes in such a dogmatic portrayal. The individuals who create this fantasy, at least the one's that I've met and read, have a vested interest in such an enterprise. But, it's pretty clear to me (and despite protestations to the contrary), this venture is not based on an unfettered search for the truth.

Ayn also heavily implies that if you disagree with her thinking, by necessity your thought is a "hodgepodge" and you're "indulging in flights of fancy." Moreover any dispute about Objectivist theory or doctrine is an act of "fraudulent presumption [and]of trying to put thoughts into my brain [and] of trying to pass [your] thinking off as mine."

But what if your disagreements are honest or even, god forbid, appropriate?    :)

Well, a view that borrows from several sources is an amalgamation of sorts. Why not call yourself an Objectivist sympathizer or a fellow traveler or a tolerationist, and so on? There are plenty of options open to those who wish to borrow elements of Objectivism and discard others. However, it would be disingenuous to label your self an Objectivist.

Finally, if you believe that your disagreements are honest or appropriate, then say that you're an Objectivist sympathizer who disagrees with this particular position or other. Something like that should be sufficient; just don't say you're an Objectivist. Remember that "Objectivism," isn't synonmous with "that which is true."

Sincerely, Gabriel

ps, perhaps I'm being a bit stuffy but it strikes me as odd that you refer to Ayn Rand by "Ayn." You never knew her personally, on a first name basis, did you?

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People are making quite a few suppositions here without really addressing my points! ;) I still think that statement by Ayn Rand is problematic. Bear in mind that she evidently made it only two years before she died, and not when she was at the height of her powers.

When it comes to the whole controversial ARI v. TOC debate I don't think it's helpful to call points of dispute a hodgepodge or flight of fancy by people attempting to misrepresent and/or steal ideas. Ayn Rand was being a bit defensive.

One possible way to view the debate is to say both branches of Objectivism represent two different schools of the same basic belief-system. Or it may be both involve two different personal psychologies or even PR approaches. But I don't think it moves the discussion along to impugn the motives of the disputants as Ayn did above.

Many times there seems to have been significant disagreement inside Ayn Rand's "inner circle." And recently there was some debate inside ARI about "just war" pro and con, as well as Kerry vs. Bush. All involved were probably solid "Objectivists." Objectivist thought isn't monolithic or there wouldn't be a forum like this.

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Many times there seems to have been significant disagreement inside Ayn Rand's "inner circle." And recently there was some debate inside ARI about "just war" pro and con, as well as Kerry vs. Bush. All involved were probably solid "Objectivists." Objectivist thought isn't monolithic or there wouldn't be a forum like this.

Objectivists constantly debate how to apply the philosophy, but that is different than debating with someone who does not agree with the philosophy but still calls himself an Objectivist.

Please note that neither ARI nor TOC were around during Ayn Rand's lifetime, so the dispute she was referring to in that passage was of a different nature.

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But no one is without internal inconsistencies and failures, and everyone changes and grows as they age (hopefully for the better).

Are you omniscient? If not then how do you know this?

Ayn also heavily implies that if you disagree with her thinking, by necessity your thought is a "hodgepodge" and you're "indulging in flights of fancy."
No, the hodgepodge is the fact that you would be combining contradictory principles. e.g. trying to agree with her moral basis of capitalism, while at the same time advocating christianity. And perhaps then... calling it Objectivism!

Moreover any dispute about Objectivist theory or doctrine is an act of "fraudulent presumption [and] of trying to put thoughts into my brain [and] of trying to pass [your] thinking off as mine."

She said no such thing. She said that someone attempting to pass off their own philosophy as hers [Objectivism], would be doing that.

But what if your disagreements are honest or even, god forbid, appropriate?    :D

What of it?

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People are making quite a few suppositions here without really addressing my points!  :D  I still think that statement by Ayn Rand is problematic. Bear in mind that she evidently made it only two years before she died, and not when she was at the height of her powers.

Actually, I think we are asking you to clarify your points because, frankly, they're not too clear. You repeat that you think Ayn Rand's statement is problematic, and seek to mitigate it by adding that it was made near the end of her life. Again, you've not really offered any sort of argument for your claim other than, as far as I can tell, an emotional appeal. This amounts to something along the lines of "can't we all just get along."

When it comes to the whole controversial ARI v. TOC debate I don't think it's helpful to call points of dispute a hodgepodge or flight of fancy by people attempting to misrepresent and/or steal ideas. Ayn Rand was being a bit defensive.
At the time the statement was made, neither ARI nor TOC existed. It most certainly can be appropriate to label something a hodgepodge or flight of fancy, if that's what it is. Why the devil not? That it's not "helpful?" What do you mean by that? It strikes me that it may be quite helpful to accurately label some phenomenon or individual, even if it hurts their feelings.

One possible way to view the debate is to say both branches of Objectivism represent two different schools of the same basic belief-system. Or it may be both involve two different personal psychologies or even PR approaches. But I don't think it moves the discussion along to impugn the motives of the disputants as Ayn did above.

Yes, that would be one way to view the debate: the wrong way. It's wrong because they don't represent two different schools of the same basic belief-system. One is a compromised corruption of the other. I'll let you decide which is what.

Many times there seems to have been significant disagreement inside Ayn Rand's "inner circle." And recently there was some debate inside ARI about "just war" pro and con, as well as Kerry vs. Bush. All involved were probably solid "Objectivists." Objectivist thought isn't monolithic or there wouldn't be a forum like this.

I'm not sure how this relates to the more fundamental point regarding disagreements with basic principles. The examples you cite, and there are many others like them, involve disagreements in the application of agreed-upon principles.

Sincerely,

Gabriel

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