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John A. Allison takes over as CEO of the Cato Institute

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Ninth,

My source for Allison's plans isn't linkable; it's what he said during a presentation about it, and AFAIK it's not been put online. During that presentation, Yaron Brook said that Rand's (and ARI's) antipathy to "libertarians" has always been antipathy towards Rothbardian anarchists.

Libertarian = Rothbardian. You ask why Schwartz didn't say explicitly that he meant Rothbard when he wrote about libertarians. In paragraph three of the "Perversion of Liberty" essay: "Murray Rothbard, widely viewed as the father of the movement..." The context of the rest of the essay shows that Schwartz agrees with that view.

In the 70s and 80s, wasn't the libertarian movement dominated by Rothbardians and anarchists? Rothbard was a founder of both Cato and the LP, and weren't most of the journals/magazines cited by Schwartz connected to Rothbard? Obviously, the libertarian movement has changed since then. But you can't look at these things out of their historical context. If in 1985 "libertarian" was mostly associated with Rothbard and anarchist friends, it's a safe bet that's who Schwartz was talking about when he criticized libertarians.

And, who were the non-Rothbardian or non-anarchists cited by Schwartz? I'm looking at the footnotes now and no names stand out. Reason is cited, but the article is by Rothbard.

Brudnoy. If Peikoff associates with people like Brudnoy, but not anarchists, isn't that evidence he means by "libertarian" Rothbardians/anarchists? Why attribute to Peikoff (or ARI) a contradiction when there's a better supported alternative interpretation of what's happening? And an interpretation that's the one the current president of ARI has endorsed, at that!

Edit: Lest I be accused of inventing scuttlebutt, my notes on the Allison discussion show that he said those disrespectful of Rand will change their attitudes or find other employment. Not that they will be fired outright. "Respectful" didn't have any implication of them becoming Objectivist. Also, Allison said that he will be there for a number of years and in that time he will be grooming an Objectivist replacement. And, he wasn't going to take the job until Yaron Brook convinced him to.

Edited by Atlas51184

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You're spot on except for the spelling. It's Kelley, David Kelley. He spoke at Laissez Faire Books. Timeline: Peikoff did a book signing at LFB when The Ominous Parallels came out. Then Barbara Branden's biography came out, the LFB catalogue carried a positive review, and they offered signed copies for sale. Then Kelley spoke there. You shouldn't need to be keeping a rocket scientist on retainer to figure this one out.

Kelley (sp) then was doing the same thing, only it was unpopular with management? Well that's disturbing. Even if I accepted the premise (which I don’t) then it still does not make sense. If ideas are important then the obvious solution is to have someone go to those you disagree with and properly articulate the right ideas. Communicating the right ideas has always been the benchmark of winning the culture war for society. Pretty much like what Rand did herself her entire life.

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Atlas,

Thanks for the information from the Brook-Allison presentation. I don’t know what anarchism has had to do with Cato in the past. All of the many times I have seen representatives from Cato on The News Hour through the years it certainly had nothing to do with that.

Rothbard was not a founder of Cato or of the Libertarian Party. David Nolan was founder of LP. I have not been a member or supporter of LP since 1984. I have never been an anarchocapitalist.

As I recall, it was in the spring of 1972 that I noticed a flyer pasted in the fine arts building on my campus, which flyer summoned anyone interested in forming a Libertarian Party in Oklahoma. I gave them a call. (I had learned the name and idea libertarian somewhat earlier through the philosophy journal The Personalist, edited by John Hospers.) They were Frank and Carolyn Robinson (of OKC), a couple of their acquaintances, and their hopes. Frank soon attended the national founding convention in Denver. Hospers, who was not anarchist, became our presidential candidate. Frank reported that Hospers had called Rothbard and had gotten the latter to agree to stop attacking this nascent organization. Rothbard and associates would later join and, by ’76, gain great influence in the party. It would have been some months, maybe many, after the ’72 election, when I learned that Rand condemned us for our political and educational initiative.

By 1976 the Koch family had begun funding LP national efforts. Ed Crane was the party chair at that time. As I recall the Kochs put about a million dollars into the 1980 LP presidential campaign. (Our candidate was Ed Clark.) After that effort, the Kochs decided to stop putting their money into LP campaigns and instead form Cato, with Ed Crane as its head.

In 1985 or so, I did read Peter Schwartz’ essay against libertarianism. It contained at least one correct thought about participation in political action, as I recall. But his representation of what was libertarianism was fantastical. He blurred the distinction between the political philosophy and the political party (an ideological political party, to be sure). John Hospers had completed a book surveying libertarianism by the time of his campaign back in 1972, and we in the party had promoted it continually. Beyond that work were three cornerstone works many of us in the party and in the libertarian intellectual movement more generally had read or were reading: Atlas Shrugged; Man, Economy, and State (Rothbard’s big economics book); and Anarchy, State, and Utopia (Nozick). This was the triangle at the center of the political philosophy libertarianism in the ’70’s and early ’80’s (and perhaps to this day). Within that triangle were those of us who subscribed to Rand’s/Nozick’s conception of the propriety of government and those, such as Rothbard, who would replace monopoly government with private competing agencies of law enforcement. The core was not core in Schwartz’ representation. His essay was a smear job, continuing the smears by Rand.

Glad to see the gloss from Brook that you have conveyed in the opening paragraph of #26.

Edited by Boydstun

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Libertarian = Rothbardian. You ask why Schwartz didn't say explicitly that he meant Rothbard when he wrote about libertarians. In paragraph three of the "Perversion of Liberty" essay: "Murray Rothbard, widely viewed as the father of the movement..." The context of the rest of the essay shows that Schwartz agrees with that view.

Alrightee, let’s get synchronized, my copy of The Voice of Reason has 353 pages, and Schwartz’s essay starts on page 311. On page 331: “[T]he essence of Libertarianism – “liberty” as a baseless assertion”. I suppose we ought to first translate that into genus/differentia form, but is that not his definition of libertarianism? Now that’s certainly not true of Rothbard, he wrote volumes on his view of the proper philosophical basis for liberty, but hopefully you’re already aware that Schwartz’s essay is an inept smear job. In practice it has meant guilt by association and has led to suffocating insularity among ARI affiliated Objectivists. Schwartz ultimately objects to any kind of “united front” for liberty as a political movement.

In the 70s and 80s, wasn't the libertarian movement dominated by Rothbardians and anarchists?

How could one determine that? Nathaniel Branden, John Hospers, and David Nolan were representative figures all the way back to the early 70’s, and none of them were “Rothbardians” or anarchists.

Rothbard was a founder of both Cato and the LP, and weren't most of the journals/magazines cited by Schwartz connected to Rothbard?

I’ll concede that most were, rather than trying to trace so many items, especially since associations have always been in flux. He cites the “Libertarian Party Radical Caucus” for example. That was Rothbard, after he broke with the majority of libertarians in the late seventies or early eighties. Then he split from them and they went kaput, I don’t know exactly when. What a headache. And no, Rothbard wasn’t a “founder” of the LP, that was above all David Nolan, though Rothbard became involved from quite early on, and was in and out too many times to bother keeping track of.

And, who were the non-Rothbardian or non-anarchists cited by Schwartz? I'm looking at the footnotes now and no names stand out. Reason is cited, but the article is by Rothbard.

When he quotes the Libertarian party platform, what does that count as? And how about the last couple quotes, from the “humanist” and then the religious libertarian?

Why attribute to Peikoff (or ARI) a contradiction when there's a better supported alternative interpretation of what's happening? And an interpretation that's the one the current president of ARI has endorsed, at that!

That Yaron Brook has come out with this interpretation is news to me, and it’s just the kind of thing I was prompting for in my video. Now we need the whole shebang in an official public form, so people know where things stand. Based on what you’ve written I’m quite leery of what I’m hearing. Hopefully they’ll spell out what “disrespect” for Ayn Rand means. May one criticize David Harriman’s interpretation of Galileo’s thought process re the concept of inertia, so long as it’s done behind closed doors? Or how about what I’ve seen David Boaz, Cato’s current Executive Vice President, do? He gives an answer to Ayn Rand’s refusing to accept the label “libertarian” by imitating this classic scene from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

“But you are one, Ayn, you are”. It’s really funny when he does it, he can get the accent perfect.

Or is it just that these people won’t be welcome anymore (this was filmed in the atrium of Cato’s DC headquarters):

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting braced for the announcement that they’re changing the name of the Friedrich Hayek Auditorium to the Leonard Peikoff Auditorium.

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Rothbard was not a founder of Cato or of the Libertarian Party.

Actually Rothbard was a co-founder of Cato, and credited himself with coming up with the name. But he wasn't involved for long, he fell out with Crane pretty early on. There was some discussion of why he never was issued his shares while the whole conflict between Koch and Crane was raging.

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Thanks for the correction, Ninth.

I really wish you wouldn't post so many goofy visuals. True, I seldom click on them. They are nevertheless distracting from the seriousness in text, yours and others' in a thread.

. . .

Glad to see the gloss from Brook that you have conveyed in the opening paragraph of #26.

Atlas, I wanted to add to that last sentence that the important thing, in my view, is that old errors are no longer repeated. I never care whether someone acknowledges their past errors in public. That kind of concern is not mine.

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Anyone interested in my replies to #'s 24 and 25 can read them here:

http://www.objectivi...51

Here’s my kerfuffle-inducing video again, since we’re on a new page in the thread:

I disagree with everything you said on Objectivist Living in response to me. And when you start talking like you want to have a fist-fight, I'm not a chicken for telling you to calm down.

When I made my initial post it was in response to someone who responded to you, I had barely read anything you said. I watched the video you posted, I read a few comments back and forth, and I pointed out something I dislike even more than a bad video vaguely insulting Peikoff. Your defensiveness is not proof of me 'trying to pick a fight'.

You've come to a lot of brash conclusions because of a general statement I've made, falsely attributed me with being passive-aggressive, then continued to dodge and weave around anything I say. Also you demand that I go to an entirely different forum to even address you, because of supposedly deleted comments. Can't say there's much reason for me to keep this going.

Edited by overt

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I really wish you wouldn't post so many goofy visuals. True, I seldom click on them. They are nevertheless distracting from the seriousness in text, yours and others' in a thread.

You know its funny, I was just thinking earlier about telling you to add some humor to your posts. Try and jazz it up! Think more Gershwin Rhapsody, and less Bach Chorale. But I decided I like you fine just the way you are.

BTW, I’m at a loss as to what you’re referring to specifically on this thread. Maybe it’s the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford thing? I should have specified where in the video I meant, it’s at 1:40. It’s a pretty famous scene, so I just assumed people would be familiar with it. And I’m not making this up, I’ve seen David Boaz quote it re Ayn Rand and libertarianism. And it got a good laugh.

Also you demand that I go to an entirely different forum to even address you, because of supposedly deleted comments.

Not supposedly deleted, actually deleted, earlier today. So if you want to have a flame war, let’s go where we can both say what we want and let the OO moderators take a siesta.

Can't say there's much reason for me to keep this going.

Indeed, go waddle back to your coop, and in the future kindly restrict your egg laying to the appropriate time and place.

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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You know its funny, I was just thinking earlier about telling you to add some humor to your posts. Try and jazz it up! Think more Gershwin Rhapsody, and less Bach Chorale. But I decided I like you fine just the way you are.

BTW, I’m at a loss as to what you’re referring to specifically on this thread. Maybe it’s the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford thing? I should have specified where in the video I meant, it’s at 1:40. It’s a pretty famous scene, so I just assumed people would be familiar with it. And I’m not making this up, I’ve seen David Boaz quote it re Ayn Rand and libertarianism. And it got a good laugh.

Not supposedly deleted, actually deleted, earlier today. So if you want to have a flame war, let’s go where we can both say what we want and let the OO moderators take a siesta.

Indeed, go waddle back to your coop, and in the future kindly restrict your egg laying to the appropriate time and place.

I don't want a flame war. I want to know if you think Peikoff is a dogmatist and if you spend time bashing him.

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. . .

Maybe it’s the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford thing? . . .

Precisely. I see that sort of image and don't bother to click on it. Now you confirm I was right not click on it. The entry of the image and the expectation of what is under it is distracting enough and is an undermining of sober thought. And look what you had right under it. I did click on that one. It was serious, and it was pertinent to your subculture concerns over changes at Cato.

But the other---the continual "good laugh" and ridicule of Rand and of Peikoff---that is bizarre. This audience is not a joke. Life is not a joke.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Related

In Zarathustra laughter is often emblematic of Nietzsche’s campaign against “the spirit of gravity” (Z I “On Reading and Writing;” IV “On the Higher Man” 16, 18, 20; “The Awakening” 1). There is some of the laughter against the spirit of gravity in the laughs of Roark. However, in laughter against the spirit of gravity, Nietzsche includes laughing at oneself and indeed at anything serious (Z IV “On the Higher Man” 15; “The Awakening” 1; GS 1, 382; BGE 294). This is something Rand speaks against in Fountainhead.

Roark seldom laughs (ET IV 253). He laughs as the face of an associate reveals a dawning comprehension of something in Roark’s motives (PK XV 202). He laughs over the prospect, when he has to close his architectural practice, that his enemies will gloat over him being reduced to tradesman work (PK XV 207). He laughs soundlessly at turns in his first bedding of Dominique (ET II 225, 230). He laughs soundlessly upon learning, from Joel Sutton, that Dominique is the one who has persuaded Sutton to decline Roark as his architect and that Dominique told Sutton to tell Roark she was the one (ET VII 288). He laughs softly when Keating finally comprehends that to be able to say “I built Cortlandt” is a gift possible only from oneself and is worth more than any money, fame, and honor that one might receive from others on account of the accomplishment. That soft laughter “was the happiest sound Keating had ever heard” (HR VIII 630).

Robert Mayhew observes that right after Roark’s laughter at the opening of the novel, there enters something arresting of attention and laughter. “He did not laugh as his eyes stopped in the awareness of the earth around him. . . . / He looked at the granite. To be cut, he thought, and made into walls. He looked at a tree. To be split and made into rafters” (PK I 9–10; Mayhew 2007b, 210). When it comes to his work, his life-meaning, and his essential person, Roark does not laugh.

Rand gives to villain Ellsworth Toohey the idea that an ability to laugh at oneself, and at anything one holds to be important, is a good thing (ET III 242, 246–47; IV 251, 257; IX 326; XIII 385). Shortly before Roark’s soliloquy in the courtroom for the Cortlandt destruction, Rand gives Toohey a soliloquy, which includes the following: “‘Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It’s simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell them that a sense of humor is an unlimited virtue. Don’t let anything remain sacred in a man’s soul—and his soul won’t be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you’ve killed the hero in man. One doesn’t reverence with a giggle’” (HR IX 636).

Rand was not the first to note that laughter can be used to kill. Nietzsche has the ugliest human (he who had been the object of pity for his ugliness and who had taken revenge for it by murdering God, who had super-pitied him) say to Zarathustra “‘But I know one thing—it was from you yourself that I once learned, oh Zarathustra: whoever wants to kill most thoroughly laughs. / “One kills not by wrath, but by laughter”—this you once spoke’” (Z IV “The Ass Festival” 1). But Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, unlike Toohey, has not the slightest intent to kill, by laughter or otherwise, the truly sacred in men’s souls, the hero in man. It is an earlier writer who observes the thoroughly vicious use of laughter we find admitted in Toohey’s soliloquy.

In The Man Who Laughs (1869), Hugo’s Gwynplaine takes his stand for humanity in a speech in the House of Lords, and these his most serious, most sacred words are laughed into dust. When the mountebank Gwynplaine had been in shows, performing as a freak, laughter had applauded him; but here, on solemn matters of real life, elevated to Lord and addressing his peers, “here it exterminated him. The effort to ridicule is to kill. Men’s laughter sometimes exerts all its power to murder” (VII 610–11).

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But the other---the continual "good laugh" and ridicule of Rand and of Peikoff---that is bizarre. This audience is not a joke. Life is not a joke.

The hatred of the good for being the good is not a monopoly of traditional ideologies. There are plenty of so-called Objectivists or supposed sympathizers with Ayn Rand's ideas who enjoy plenty of sneering at Ayn Rand and her philosophy, especially if they can get away with doing it by sneering at Peikoff.

Given my profile image it may go without saying, but I liked your quote, especially the part from The Man Who Laughs.

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The entry of the image and the expectation of what is under it is distracting enough and is an undermining of sober thought.

I included that to illustrate the example I was making. Does this “disrespect” business mean no more humor on the subject of Rand, such as when a speaker is explaining his disagreement with her on something? It’s a serious question.

I’m not going to deny that I generally use humor much more than you do, and this may be a generational thing, or more likely, a difference in basic temperament. Sanguine vs. melancholic, or even Cynic/Epicurean vs. Stoic. But it’s not relevant in this case. Imagine these are lines from a speech at Cato, you tell me if it’s “disrespectful”:

“Ayn Rand used to deny that she was a libertarian. Well, like Bette Davis said in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, ‘but you are, Ayn, you are’”.

Cast said speaker out on ear, and set dogs on?

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Catching up on the thread...

Stephen and Ninth,

I think your knowledge of libertarian history is deficient.

The first sentence of the wikipedia article on Cato: "The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Murray Rothbard, Ed Crane and Charles Koch."

The first paragraph from the History of the Libertarian Party article: "The Libertarian Party was formed in Colorado Springs in the home of David Nolan on December 11, 1971, after several months of debate among members of the Committee to Form a Libertarian Party, founded July 17. [...] This group included John Hospers, Edward Crane, Manuel Klausner, Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs, Theodora (Tonie) Nathan, and Jim Dean." I recognize two anarchist names.

If one is worried about sanctioning Rothbard (or other anarchists), one would rightly be wary of groups he helped found.

Edited by Atlas51184

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Ninth,

"In practice [schwartz's article] has meant guilt by association and has led to suffocating insularity among ARI affiliated Objectivists."

ARI affiliated intellectuals have been working in various capacities with non-anarchist 'libertarian' intellectuals (mostly economists and policy people) for at least the last 15 years. So I don't know what you're talking about.

Rothbard and the LP. See previous post. He was a member of the founding committee, along with anarchist Roy Childs. Rothbard was the dominant figure in 70s and 80s libertarianism.

Respect for Rand. I take it that respect for Rand means respect for Rand. What's Dave Harriman have to do with anything?

Edited by Atlas51184

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Stephen,

You mention Nozick and Hospers. Part of the Peikoff/Schwartz argument is that there is no valid concept the CCD of which is "amount of government". Do you agree with that, and classify Nozick's, Hospers', and Rothbard's political philosophies together on some other grounds?

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Atlas,

Peter Schwartz' point that “amount of government” would not be a principle giving genuine unity to a political philosophy is correct. When “limited government” libertarians use that adjective to distinguish themselves from individualist anarchist libertarians, they are talking about limited proper functions of government. Defending the country could at times require a whole lot of government, but the number of proper functions of government would still be limited to its constant few. That is what was in the books on this political philosophy in the ’70’s written by Robert Nozick, by Tibor Machan, and by John Hospers. What those proper functions were coincided with Rand’s conclusion in the matter.

The preeminent libertarian political philosopher of that decade was Robert Nozick. His book Anarchy, State, and Utopia towered above all others in libertarian philosophy, in content and in public recognition. That is still so today. I know, I know, some folks attached of the political philosophy of Murray Rothbard may not like to admit that; some also do not like to admit the importance of Ayn Rand’s writings in political philosophy to the existence of the modern libertarian movement. Nozick’s book is studied in classrooms today, and it will be studied a hundred years from now. It is a modern classic of political philosophy.

In the ’70’s the other writings influential with libertarians were free market economics books, Rand’s literature and essays, Tibor Machan’s Human Rights and Human Liberties, and John Hosper’s Libertarianism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. On the anarchist branch of libertarianism, there was Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty and David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom. Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty issued in ’82. Those are the books one would need to discuss in order to genuinely discuss libertarian political philosophy of the ’70’s and early ’80’s. The Schwartz criticism you mentioned might have some traction in connection with David Friedman’s approach, but to his alone. He is a utilitarian and is concerned to maximize liberty with an eye to utility, as I recall. All the others come from the perspective that individual rights is a valid moral concept and that the sole proper function of government would be to protect them. Rothbard and his followers would argue further that there is no proper function of government because such an institution necessarily violates individual rights.

A few years after leaving the Libertarian Party in ’84, I stopped studying and writing about political philosophy. I returned to what I had studied in college (late ’60’s), which was metaphysics and epistemology. In 1990 I created the journal Objectivity * (subscription, hardcopy) from which political and social philosophy more generally was excluded. Finally there was a place to focus in print on the other areas of philosophy, at a level of interest for both academics and independent scholars. There was also much history of philosophy and science education in the journal. It was not limited to Objectivist contributors and readers. Anyone friendly toward rationality, objectivity, and modern science (standard, no reactionary or basement science) was at home in that clean calm place, made so in part by the exclusion of political philosophy and cultural commentary.

My statements about libertarianism and about the LP in those days are from personal memory, not from reading about those days. My impression that Rothbard was not in attendance at the founding national convention of LP was from my memory of the report at the time by an acquaintance who had attended. My memory of such a detail could easily be mistaken. I was a delegate from Illinois to the LP national convention in New York in 1976. I would say most delegates were in the limited government side the divide. Rothbard, Raico, and Childs were delegates and were active on the floor in attempting to put anarchist planks into the party platform. I remember one of their attempts, concerning national defense, failed after Nozick got up, identified the sneaky move that was afoot and the unacceptability of its ultimate implication. There was a big struggle going on at that convention. Anarchism seemed concentrated in the New York delegation. There was only one anarchist in our Illinois delegation as I recall.

Objectivist political philosophy is a type of libertarianism, which is the view that the only proper function of government, if any, is to protect individual liberty. That is the paramount political value. In Rand’s political philosophy, the proper purpose of government is to protect individual rights, and the purpose of individual rights is to protect the free exercise of the individual mind in the conduct and service of his or her life in a social context. That is a type of individual liberty. Well, Atlas, I better close. One more memory. Some generous people had put some money into that New York convention. There was a brief sound and light show that had been created for the occasion. The music was a song I had not known till then. It was “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. On a screen were flashed various images, but I only remember some of the photos of faces of intellectuals important in the political movement and political philosophy. Rand’s face flashed on the screen, and he crowd went wild.

Edited by Boydstun

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"In practice [schwartz's article] has meant guilt by association and has led to suffocating insularity among ARI affiliated Objectivists."

ARI affiliated intellectuals have been working in various capacities with non-anarchist 'libertarian' intellectuals (mostly economists and policy people) for at least the last 15 years. So I don't know what you're talking about.

Names please.

Rothbard and the LP. See previous post. He was a member of the founding committee, along with anarchist Roy Childs. Rothbard was the dominant figure in 70s and 80s libertarianism.

Really? This is the first time I’ve heard that Rothbard was actually present at the founding. It doesn’t jibe well with a lot of other things I’ve read. Oh great, there’s no citation for it in the Wiki article. See, the ubiquitous “citation needed”? Either way, I wrote:

And no, Rothbard wasn’t a “founder” of the LP, that was above all David Nolan, though Rothbard became involved from quite early on, and was in and out too many times to bother keeping track of.

Now I’d like you to explain something, if you can. Since Rothbard was so “dominant”, how many Libertarian presidential candidates have been “Rothbardians”? There ought to be a good percentage, right? How many can you name?

Respect for Rand. I take it that respect for Rand means respect for Rand. What's Dave Harriman have to do with anything?

I bring up David Harriman to allude to the notorious John McCaskey episode. Is that the kind of culture Cato is going to have? I sincerely doubt it, I was giving an extreme example by way of framing the issue: will “respect” for Ayn Rand really mean bowing and scraping to one of Peikoff’s flunkies? Even within ARI that didn't go over well, so, no way, obviously. Then I moved on to two other examples, material closer to what we’re likely going to be dealing with. Do you have anything to say about those?

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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But the other---the continual "good laugh" and ridicule of Rand and of Peikoff---that is bizarre. This audience is not a joke. Life is not a joke.

I suspect that you misjudge the "good laugh" as "bizarre" because you misinterpret it as being ridicule of Rand and Peikoff rather than more precisely what it is, which is ridicule of mistaken ideas and bad behavior by otherwise good people.

And "life is not a joke"? What IS life to you, Stephen? Grim seriousness, uptight reverence for certain heroes, and flashes of anger directed at those who question some of the behavior of your heroes?

The hatred of the good for being the good is not a monopoly of traditional ideologies. There are plenty of so-called Objectivists or supposed sympathizers with Ayn Rand's ideas who enjoy plenty of sneering at Ayn Rand and her philosophy, especially if they can get away with doing it by sneering at Peikoff.

So, is this how it works: Leonard Peikoff is by definition "the good," and therefore laughter at him or anything he has ever done is "hatred of the good for being good"? How far does that extend? Could Peikoff go out and randomly intiate force against someone, and if Ninth ridiculed him for doing so, he'd be expressing "hatred of the good for being good" in your eyes? And, to you, someone's ridiculing Peikoff for initiating force would be an act of "sneering at Ayn Rand and her philosophy" rather than an act of following Ayn Rand's philosophy?!

J

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Really? This is the first time I’ve heard that Rothbard was actually present at the founding. It doesn’t jibe well with a lot of other things I’ve read. Oh great, there’s no citation for it in the Wiki article. See, the ubiquitous “citation needed”?

This ought to settle it:

http://mises.org/jou...973/1973_04.pdf

Ever since the national Libertarian Party and its state affiliates had been founded a year ago, the editor of the Lib. Forum, while tempted, had held aloof. But to this old political warhorse, the firebell of a Convention proved too much to resist. As the time for the Convention drew near. I made my decision, propitiated the Spirit of Robert LeFevre and took the plunge: I joined the Party.

Murray Rothbard,
The Libertarian Forum
, April 1973

Which are you going to trust, an unsourced Wikipedia entry, or the horse’s mouth? According to him, he joined in time for a convention that was held in NY in late March 1973, well after the conclusion of the Hospers campaign, and over a year after the founding.

I think your knowledge of libertarian history is deficient.

Whose knowledge of libertarian history is deficient, again? Try sharpening up your research skills before nitpicking with people who’ve been involved in this for decades.

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I‘m not seeing how this dovetailed into hatred of the good for being the good, laughter as self inflicted wound, or some celebrity grudge match. I thought it was about Peikoff and the traditionally well documented Objectivist stance on Libertarianism versus the contradiction implicit in today’s willingness to deal with libertarian forums. As someone who has been perplexed at the blanket packaging dealing of all libertarians as anarchist I’m glad to see this trend but confused as to the silent change of course.

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I suspect that you misjudge the "good laugh" as "bizarre" because you misinterpret it as being ridicule of Rand and Peikoff rather than more precisely what it is, which is ridicule of mistaken ideas and bad behavior by otherwise good people.

And "life is not a joke"? What IS life to you, Stephen? Grim seriousness, uptight reverence for certain heroes, and flashes of anger directed at those who question some of the behavior of your heroes?

So, is this how it works: Leonard Peikoff is by definition "the good," and therefore laughter at him or anything he has ever done is "hatred of the good for being good"? How far does that extend? Could Peikoff go out and randomly intiate force against someone, and if Ninth ridiculed him for doing so, he'd be expressing "hatred of the good for being good" in your eyes? And, to you, someone's ridiculing Peikoff for initiating force would be an act of "sneering at Ayn Rand and her philosophy" rather than an act of following Ayn Rand's philosophy?!

J

Get more information on everyone involved. Unless you already have, then to hell with you.

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Get more information on everyone involved. Unless you already have, then to hell with you.

Okay, I'll take that as a very emotional "no" to my question.

So, I then have to assume that by claiming that someone is exhibiting "hatred of the good for being the good," you must mean that asking questions about a person's apparent double standards and laughing about his hypocrisy -- his exempting himself from following the same rules by which he fiercely condemns others -- is an example of "hatred of the good," and, therefore, we must logically conclude that you believe that having double standards and displaying hypocrisy is "good."

J

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All right, gentlemen, please tone down the emotional rhetoric. Let's all try to remember that civility helps others understand what we are actually trying to say; incivility encourages the amygdala to conjure up illusory strawmen.

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