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Over at Noumenalself.com are two articles covering TOC and its misfortunes over the last eighteen months. Dated April 11, 2004 and September 28, 2003.

Looking at TOC's tax returns, they have been sinking for awhile.

Last open ones are for the year ending 2002.

Contributions in 2002 fell 19.95% to $844,676 from 1,055,259.

Program services(events that non-profits charge for) was up only 2%(inflation) from 2001, but 2001 was a 25% drop from 2000.

2002 was so bad, TOC's net worth at the end of the year was a negative $3,734. The assets of 199K were mainly equipment and inventory and the 123K in liabilities included a credit of 14K with mininum payments being made and a 50,000 credit line, full used, just to keep the doors open.

part 2 soon

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In 2003 they were laying people off or making full time jobs- part time and cutting programs. In the last six months they are doing only events that cost their supporters more money. If they charge for everything, what are the contributions going to?

I suspect everyone got pay cuts because David Kelley got a part-time job teaching and Hudgins is now working part-time at Cato. Their washington office seems to be the trunk of Hudgins car.

Now I hear Ed Snider is pulling out of TOC. That could be the last straw before they go the way of "Jim Jones people temple." LOL

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I see no reason to take joy in their financial troubles.

I'm not a supporter of theirs, but I don't seek happiness at the expense of others. Not directly anyway - I would be quite happy if militant Islamists were wiped off the earth, but only as a result of the cause of this: justice. My happiness here is only a consequence. :)

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It doesn't really surprise me that TOC would eventually stall out - though it does seem to be happening quicker than I would have thought. I kind of figured that it would gradually fade away once Kelley retired and left the picture.

TOC was ultimately doomed because that which held the organization together in the first place and drew in supporters was ultimately defined not by what they were but by what they were not. I remember when Kelley first started his organization someone gave a speech on its behalf and described it along the lines of a "home for homeless Objectivists." In other words, it was a home for anyone who had a grudge against ARI or who disagreed with some aspect or another of Objectivism but still wished to call themselves Objectivists. Amongst its rank and file supporters one will find the full range from people who are, by and large, rational and have simply made an error of knowledge on issues such as toleration and sanction to individuals who can only be described as being hostile to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. When the main reason for an organization's existence and the primary thing which unifies its supporters is the fact that they are NOT ARI, well, after a while, the better sort of people who actually wish to obtain some sort of positive values from their participation in it will eventually lose interest and drop out.

The other factor at work has to do with the nature of compromise. Compromise on basic principles tends to necessitate further compromises in the future - and from the very little that I hear anymore about such things, that seems to have been very much the case with Kelley and his intellectual standards. The result is that Kelley and TOC have become too wishy washy for even many of their own supporters.

I also wonder if 9-11 might have had an impact as well in their ability to attract support from newbie Ayn Rand fans. Somehow, Kelley's warm and fuzzy talk about the virtue of intellectual tolerationism towards false ideologies seems to sound so much more ridiculous in a post 9-11 world. While many in the general public have, unfortunately, yet to learn that false ideologies can KILL, I think the sort of people who are attracted to Ayn Rand have likely grasped that fact. I think that most rational people, on some level, recognize that the War on Terror is a battle for civilization itself and that it will not be won through a sort of United Nations approach where everyone seeks to "understand" and play nice with each other. What is needed is an uncompromised dedication to the values which make Western Civilization possible and not being afraid to openly identify and denounce certain people, groups, cultures and philosophies as being EVIL. In other words, what is needed is moral clarity and uncompromising courage. Ayn Rand was certainly an example of both. In light of current events, I think it is more apparent than ever that ARI has lived up to her example while TOC is wishy washy and morally timid.

If TOC survives, I suspect that, rather than positioning itself as sort of rival to ARI, it will basically become the Ayn Rand camp under the Libertarian umbrella. It will draw in new supporters not so much from people new to Objectivism but rather from people who consider themselves to be Libertarians. Fortunately, the contradictions of Libertarianism are also starting to become increasingly obvious in light of 9-11. Many prominant Libertarians have taken a position on the War on Terror that is actually somewhere to the left of Howard Dean. That will cost the Libertarian movement its more honest and rational rank and file supporters - the very people who are most likely to be open to Ayn Rand's ideas.

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I'm not a supporter of theirs, but I don't seek happiness at the expense of others. Not directly anyway - I would be quite happy if militant Islamists were wiped off the earth, but only as a result of the cause of this: justice.

I was glad to hear of their financial troubles, and it's very much an issue of justice.

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I was glad to hear of their financial troubles, and it's very much an issue of justice.

Yes, I understand now. Didn't see the connection earlier.

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I see no reason to take joy in their financial troubles.

I know a good reason to take joy in it: they promote a false message and the fact that they are in financial trouble means that they are having a difficult time getting people to buy into that message and motivating them to support it. How can that be anything but good news to anyone who regards their message as false? Wouldn't it be entirely rational for the Republican Party to be happy at the situation of the Democratic Party being in dire financial trouble because they are unable to attract support for their position?

I can understand your position of not taking pleasure out of other people's misfortunes if it is nothing more than a matter of people you simply happen to dislike. But in this case, the issue is much more serious than simply disliking Kelley and TOC. Objectivists have significant ideological disagreements with Kelley and TOC - and ideological disagreements are serious business. The war of ideas is like any other kind of war - in the end, there are going to be winners and losers. One defines victory over a false ideology by the fact that people no longer take it seriously. The collapse of TOC would be evidence that people are no longer willing to support it and that would be welcome and wonderful news to any genuine supporter of Objectivism.

I'm not a supporter of theirs, but I don't seek happiness at the expense of others.

Actually, it woudn't be at their expense. Unless you propose to become a deep pocketed contributor, whether you are happy about it or not will have zero impact on TOC's financial situation.

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I wrote:

If TOC survives, I suspect that, rather than positioning itself as sort of rival to ARI, it will basically become the Ayn Rand camp under the Libertarian umbrella. It will draw in new supporters not so much from people new to Objectivism but rather from people who consider themselves to be Libertarians.

I didn't read the articles mentioned at Noumenalself.com until after I had put up my postings. Wow. It seems that my little prediction, in fact, already happened some time ago.

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This is good news!

I haven't felt this uplifting sense of justice since Israel killed Sheikh Yassin! :D

Maybe ARI should buy them out? I mean - taking over the name, the website, the physical properties, firing the management and inviting honest members to join ARI?

Just a crazy idea. :lol:

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Maybe ARI should buy them out? I mean - taking over the name, the website, the physical properties, firing the management and inviting honest members to join ARI?

Why? Of what value to ARI is the name/website/properties of TOC? Why not simply let them die in their own time? And what makes you think they would sell?

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You're right. TOC is of no possible value. I just thought of the symbolism.

No real point in buying them out.

As for Rantissi... he's just a small fry compared to Yassin. When they took Yassin down I knew the rest of the Hamas will eventually go down with him.

But yes, I was happy when they killed him too.

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I also wonder if 9-11 might have had an impact as well in their ability to attract support from newbie Ayn Rand fans. Somehow, Kelley's warm and fuzzy talk about the virtue of intellectual tolerationism towards false ideologies seems to sound so much more ridiculous in a post 9-11 world.  While many in the general public have, unfortunately, yet to learn that false ideologies can KILL, I think the sort of people who are attracted to Ayn Rand have likely grasped that fact.
This is a great observation. I have long believed that 9/11 fundamentally changed American politics, but I never made the explicit connection to TOC and its "tolerationist" approach to the opponents of Objectivism in what is ultimately a philosophical war. To be sure, I always knew on a general level that the TOC approach was doomed to failure and actually harmful to efforts to spread Objectivism.

In other words, what is needed is moral clarity and uncompromising courage. Ayn Rand was certainly an example of both. In light of current events, I think it is more apparent than ever that ARI has lived up to her example while TOC is wishy washy and morally timid.

Exactly -- which is one of the reasons why TOC seems to be going down the tubes.

If TOC survives, I suspect that, rather than positioning itself as sort of rival to ARI, it will basically become the Ayn Rand camp under the Libertarian umbrella. It will draw in new supporters not so much from people new to Objectivism but rather from people who consider themselves to be Libertarians.
Actually, this has always been their strategy. It isn't working. Had they read Ayn Rand a bit more carefully, they would have understood much more clearly why it wouldn't work.

Fortunately, the contradictions of Libertarianism are also starting to become increasingly obvious in light of 9-11. Many prominant Libertarians have taken a position on the War on Terror that is actually somewhere to the left of Howard Dean. That will cost the Libertarian movement its more honest and rational rank and file supporters - the very people who are most likely to be open to Ayn Rand's ideas.

No kidding. You cannot oppose terroism by opposing every reasonable countermeasure against terrorists or by abandoning a proactive approach to identifying and then eliminating national security threats so that, e.g., our first responders are U.S. Marines kicking ass in Fallujah rather than firemen and policemen responding to a terrorist attack in New York City. The libertarian approach -- essentially identical to Dean's approach -- was to ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

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TOC is failing! I find joy in its demise, not because it is a "misfortune," but because it is a fine example of the Justice, with a capital J, of reality. A misfortune implies an accidental occurance. What is happening to TOC is no accident.

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TOC has some of the worst op-eds I've ever seen. Not even in terms of content - their content always just seems like watered down ARI to me - but in terms of writing style. They sound like they're written by middle schoolers (unsurprising considering that the intellect of such evaders as TOC's writers must be on such a level). I think this unprofessionalism is a large part of its decline. Also, most Objectivists want to be associated with the organization that Ayn Rand herself sanctioned (inasmuch as she designated Peikoff as her philosophical successor).

Just out of curiousity, does anyone know how ARI is doing? Are their contributions up or down? I would think they would do more if they had so much more money than TOC. Several fools have told me that both organizations are doing much worse than they used to be, but I'm sure this is totally inaccurate. With a man like Peikoff at the helm - as opposed to a pseudo-savage like kelley - ARI must be soaring higher than ever before, and restoring Objectivism's glory.

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Just out of curiousity, does anyone know how ARI is doing? Are their contributions up or down?

ARI had another record year -- as did the sales of Ayn Rand's books which they promote.

I would think they would do more if they had so much more money than TOC. Several fools have told me that both organizations are doing much worse than they used to be, but I'm sure this is totally inaccurate.
ARI is doing many things see this and this.

With a man like Peikoff at the helm - as opposed to a pseudo-savage like kelley - ARI must be soaring higher than ever before, and restoring Objectivism's glory.

Actually Yaron Brook is at the helm and is responsible for ARI's operations. Policy is set by the ARI Board headed by Peter Schwartz. You'll find a list of the others on the board and all the people who work for ARI, and their projects, here.

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While I am glad to see the TOC get its just deserts, I would like to use this opportunity to mention that ARI’s website is dreadful. If ARI had a website half as well-designed or content-rich as TOC’s, I suspect that TOC would have faded into obscurity long ago.

This is what the ARI homepage looks like in my browser:

post-8-1083206233_thumb.jpg

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What browser do you use? I think ARI’s site is a lot better than the TOC’s. I don’t see why it looks like that in your browser.

Added:

I tested it in some other browsers and the only one it works well in is IE. I think that very odd that they would allow this problem to persist. That is one of the first things I check when building a site.

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Unfortunately, it only looks fine in IE..if by “fine” you mean “as it was intended to.” But that’s just one aspect. The entire web site is badly designed, short on content, and hard to navigate. The biggest problem is the lack of integration: the site looks like several unrelated web projects thrown together and mostly forgotten.

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