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

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#1
NikolaiM

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It has recently been decided that John A. Allison—Mr. Objectivist himself—will replace Ed Crane as CEO of the Cato Institute. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this, particularly in regards to the future of the Cato Institute and the relationship between it and the Ayn Rand Institute. I imagine Yaron Brook and John A. Allison, who seem to get along splendidly, may coordinate the efforts of their respective organizations.

Sources:
Dollars & Crosses - Professor John Allison will Become Cato Institute’s New CEO
National Review - Kochs, Cato Reach Settlement
Cato Daily Podcast - A Koch v. Cato Settlement

Edited by NikolaiM, 26 June 2012 - 05:27 PM.


#2
Ninth Doctor

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Seeing that Cato is the single most important libertarian institution, this development suggests that Peter Schwartz’s vile (yet laughable) Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty is…what? No longer applicable? It used to be gospel, believe me I know.

More likely, John Allison is of the mold of John McCaskey and Ed Snider, both of whom were willing and able to leave ARI behind. I don’t see ARI being able to control Cato, and if that was John Allison’s intention I seriously doubt he’d have gotten the job. The changes, if any, are going to be on the ARI side, and I've heard of Yaron Brook being reasonable and communicative with libertarians for a while now. But just wait, maybe someone will give the hornet's nest a poke, and send a sharply worded question about it to the Peikoff podcast. If you have his 1992 FHF appearance, go to the last question in the Q&A, dammit I just have to load that thing to YouTube, it's so freaking beautiful. "How are we to know which libertarians it's ok to talk to?" was how the question concluded, and Peikoff hit the roof.
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#3
Boydstun

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John Allison is a Board member of the Ayn Rand Institute. He made presentations at OCON 2011. In one of those, he mentioned some projects in academia that he and Charles Koch have co-sponsored in the past. He surely seems a great asset for Cato from his business expertise, his long-time staunch commitment to advancing the scholarly defense of freedom, and his understanding of the importance of Rand’s philosophy in that defense.

An explanation of the settlement for Koch v. Cato is here.

Related

(Nikolai, a little point of sensibilities: John Allison or anyone else who takes Rand's philosophy and its scholars so seriously as he would not appreciate being referred to as "Mr. Objectivism himself.")

Edited by Boydstun, 26 June 2012 - 06:40 PM.


#4
brian0918

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But just wait, maybe someone will give the hornet's nest a poke, and send a sharply worded question about it to the Peikoff podcast.

People have already talked about asking Peikoff during the OCON Q&A.

The problem with reality is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work. ;)


#5
NikolaiM

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(Nikolai, a little point of sensibilities: John Allison or anyone else who takes Rand's philosophy and its scholars so seriously as he would not appreciate being referred to as "Mr. Objectivism himself.")


Fair enough. It was a quick and informal way of pointing out that he's a principled high-profile Objectivist. Didn't mean it in a snide way, and wouldn't have addressed him that way formally.

Edited by NikolaiM, 26 June 2012 - 07:00 PM.


#6
Ninth Doctor

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People have already talked about asking Peikoff during the OCON Q&A.

Really, where? Sounds like an endeavor fraught with danger. Maybe he'll "plant" the question so it's worded in a way that's agreeable to him, no references to Murray Rothbard having been a cofounder of Cato, that kind of thing. If you don't think questions get planted, I used to run a campus club and I've served as facilitator for getting desired questions asked, so take it from me.

There's a new talk by Allison that's just gone up on YouTube, looks good but I'm too tired to watch it tonight.


"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#7
FeatherFall

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This is a delightful surprise, implied speculation of doom and schism aside. I'm not going to read any more tonight - I'm going to bed happy.

#8
JASKN

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This is a delightful surprise, implied speculation of doom and schism aside. I'm not going to read any more tonight - I'm going to bed happy.

I thought the same thing. John Allison is a great guy, and as far as I'm concerned it can only mean great things.
"I made my fortune on the seas, and in the mines, and in the cattle wars of the old frontier. I made it by being tougher than the toughies, and smarter than the smarties. And I made it SQUARE!" - Mr. Scrooge McDuck

#9
Nicky

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Really, where? Sounds like an endeavor fraught with danger. Maybe he'll "plant" the question so it's worded in a way that's agreeable to him, no references to Murray Rothbard having been a cofounder of Cato, that kind of thing. If you don't think questions get planted, I used to run a campus club and I've served as facilitator for getting desired questions asked, so take it from me.

No one would ever doubt your extensive expertise in that area.

#10
Grames

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Good news.

#11
SamtheMan

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I hear that there was a Q&A session with John Allison and Yaron Brook at last week's ARI conference on this very topic. Anyone have the scoop?

https://www.facebook.com/Objectivistconferences?sk=wall&filter=12#!/Objectivistconferences/posts/496271863732549

#12
Ninth Doctor

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Seeing that Cato is the single most important libertarian institution, this development suggests that Peter Schwartz’s vile (yet laughable) Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty is…what? No longer applicable? It used to be gospel, believe me I know.

More likely, John Allison is of the mold of John McCaskey and Ed Snider, both of whom were willing and able to leave ARI behind. I don’t see ARI being able to control Cato, and if that was John Allison’s intention I seriously doubt he’d have gotten the job. The changes, if any, are going to be on the ARI side, and I've heard of Yaron Brook being reasonable and communicative with libertarians for a while now. But just wait, maybe someone will give the hornet's nest a poke, and send a sharply worded question about it to the Peikoff podcast. If you have his 1992 FHF appearance, go to the last question in the Q&A, dammit I just have to load that thing to YouTube, it's so freaking beautiful. "How are we to know which libertarians it's ok to talk to?" was how the question concluded, and Peikoff hit the roof.

I finally got up the yen to excavate for the tape, plus unhook the VCR and get it connected to the computer on Sunday. Since then I've spent, I don't know I didn't count, but hours putting this together. It’s the first video I’ve created, and I know it’s pretty rough around the edges, I was learning how to use the program as I went. I also pulled off the tape (ripped?) Peikoff’s extended explanation of why he was voting Democratic in 1992, it’s a whole different animal from his notorious 2006 directive. I don’t expect to have many comments to make about that one, so it ought to take less time for me to get it in shape for uploading.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jQAiCCEA5A
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#13
Jake

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I finally got up the yen to excavate for the tape, plus unhook the VCR and get it connected to the computer on Sunday. Since then I've spent, I don't know I didn't count, but hours putting this together. It’s the first video I’ve created, and I know it’s pretty rough around the edges, I was learning how to use the program as I went. I also pulled off the tape (ripped?) Peikoff’s extended explanation of why he was voting Democratic in 1992, it’s a whole different animal from his notorious 2006 directive. I don’t expect to have many comments to make about that one, so it ought to take less time for me to get it in shape for uploading.


Uhhhh...

The questioner was clearly asking, as Peikoff put it, "a very unfriendly question." Peikoff did not "hit the roof." That is just the way he talks, as evidenced by hundreds of hours of recorded lectures. Peikoff cut to the heart of what the questioner was really asking and responded. The question smuggled in the idea that Peikoff said it's not okay to talk to Libertarians, but to my knowledge, he never said that. He said that he does not debate Libertarians, which is why he answered as he did.

I wish I could thumbs-down the video via this forum.
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#14
Atlas51184

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There's an obvious mistake about half-way through the video, in one of your text graphics. The "Libertarian = Right-Wing" text is targeted at Peikoff, right? But he's attributing that position to the radio host, and Peikoff himself says that it's the wrong definition. And I don't think "Nolan Chart" gets to determine the correct definition of 'libertarian.' The Nolan Chart says so and so... who cares? I don't understand where the snark is coming from in that part. Hasn't "libertarian" become, for many people" a word like "conservative" and "liberal"? A not very clear concept that means to them something like "socially liberal and economically conservative"? Such a libertarian isn't what Peikoff/Schwartz ever had in mind when they talked about sanction, I don't think.

I always took it that Rand, Peikoff, and Schwartz meant by "libertarian" "Rothbardian." Weren't all Schwartz's examples of libertarians examples of Rothbardian anarchists? If that's so, then I don't see any hypocrisy going on here. The Kochs own Cato and Charles is an Obejctivist, and Allison has promised to remove anarchists and persons disrespectful of Rand from the Cato payroll. Sounds like Cato moving in an Objectivist direction to me.

Edited by Atlas51184, 08 August 2012 - 02:27 PM.


#15
Spiral Architect

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I agree with Peikoff that conversing with someone who invites you to speak your mind at their forum is not sanctioning them. But after several months of catching up on O’ist History, didn’t he just get done booting Kelly for doing the same thing – Speaking at a libertarian forum where he could speak his whole mind without sanctioning the views present?

Am I’m missing something here?

Edited by Spiral Architect, 08 August 2012 - 03:37 PM.

Volition = Cognition - A deterministic philosophy is a contradiction in terms

#16
Ninth Doctor

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There's an obvious mistake about half-way through the video, in one of your text graphics. The "Libertarian = Right-Wing" text is targeted at Peikoff, right? But he's attributing that position to the radio host, and Peikoff himself says that it's the wrong definition.

This was Peikoff’s spin, or one might call it “interpretation”, of Brudnoy. He even says “this is my understanding of his position” right before equating libertarian with right wing. Brudnoy was as libertarian as Milton Friedman or Penn Jillette, and was even a member of the Libertarian party.

And I don't think "Nolan Chart" gets to determine the correct definition of 'libertarian.' The Nolan Chart says so and so... who cares?

No, it’s Peter Schwartz who doesn’t get to define what libertarian means. The Nolan Chart is as foundational to what libertarianism is as anything can be.

I always took it that Rand, Peikoff, and Schwartz meant by "libertarian" "Rothbardian."

Then why didn’t they say exactly that?

I suggest you check out “On Sanctioning the Sanctioners”. Anyone who sanctions an anarchist (or whatever), is also not to be sanctioned. Just how far this policy was meant to extend (can one sanction the sanctioner of a sanctioner?) was thankfully never defined, at least not that I ever saw. The joke at the time was that eventually Leonard would excommunicate Harry, then Peter would excommunicate Leonard.

Weren't all Schwartz's examples of libertarians examples of Rothbardian anarchists?

Nope.

Allison has promised to remove anarchists and persons disrespectful of Rand from the Cato payroll. Sounds like Cato moving in an Objectivist direction to me.

You’re telling me something I haven’t heard before, that is, that Allison has voiced plans to cut people from the Cato payroll on such grounds. Source please.
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#17
Ninth Doctor

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The questioner was clearly asking, as Peikoff put it, "a very unfriendly question."

Indeed. He was speaking at a public forum, so there's no reason he should only expect softballs.

Peikoff did not "hit the roof."

First of all I wrote that a couple months ago, and hadn't reviewed the tape in many years, so I was going from memory. Second, if that's not hitting the roof (I hate to get pedantic here, but you do realize it's a metaphor?) then I can hardly imagine what is.

That is just the way he talks, as evidenced by hundreds of hours of recorded lectures.

I've heard plenty of them, and he never gets like that when he's fielding softballs. Except maybe when O'Reilly called him Dr. Strangelove.

Peikoff cut to the heart of what the questioner was really asking and responded. The question smuggled in the idea that Peikoff said it's not okay to talk to Libertarians, but to my knowledge, he never said that. He said that he does not debate Libertarians, which is why he answered as he did.

Sounds to me like a distinction without a difference.
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#18
Ninth Doctor

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didn’t he just get done booting Kelly for doing the same thing – Speaking at a libertarian forum where he could speak his whole mind without sanctioning the views present?

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.
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#19
overt

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Uhhhh...

The questioner was clearly asking, as Peikoff put it, "a very unfriendly question." Peikoff did not "hit the roof." That is just the way he talks, as evidenced by hundreds of hours of recorded lectures. Peikoff cut to the heart of what the questioner was really asking and responded. The question smuggled in the idea that Peikoff said it's not okay to talk to Libertarians, but to my knowledge, he never said that. He said that he does not debate Libertarians, which is why he answered as he did.

I wish I could thumbs-down the video via this forum.


I agree. I also wish I could thumbs down everyone who thinks that their independence is defined by how much they stand against Peikoff.

#20
Ninth Doctor

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I agree. I also wish I could thumbs down everyone who thinks that their independence is defined by how much they stand against Peikoff.


Who thinks that? I gather this is directed at me, and I’d like to know on what basis you think you know how I define my independence, whatever that means.

What an incredibly stupid thing to say. And what a cowardly way to say it.
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#21
Nicky

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Who thinks that? I gather this is directed at me, and I’d like to know on what basis you think you know how I define my independence, whatever that means.

What an incredibly stupid thing to say. And what a cowardly way to say it.

I thought it was well put. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

#22
overt

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Who thinks that? I gather this is directed at me, and I’d like to know on what basis you think you know how I define my independence, whatever that means.

What an incredibly stupid thing to say. And what a cowardly way to say it.



It's directed at anyone it fits.

There are many people who bitch constantly about Peikoff as some sort of dogmatist, and flaunt how virtuous they are for not agreeing with him (even if this means abandoning rational principles).

I'm not a coward. Let me know if that sounds like you and I'll be sure to let you know how much of a bastard you are.

#23
Ninth Doctor

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I don't see any hypocrisy going on here.

BTW I’d like to make something crystal clear: I’m not accusing anyone of hypocrisy. Not yet. Rather, I’m pointing out a contradiction. I think I made that perfectly clear in the video (review the last 30 seconds), but I suppose it bears repeating. I’d really like to see ARI repudiate their anti-libertarian position. The final image I chose is a reference to “Panta Rei” and Heraclitus, suggesting that things are in flux, though I didn’t expect many people to get the reference.

ARI can say they had the right position back in the eighties, but the libertarian movement has improved and now they’re willing and eager to engage. It would be bullshit, but fine, they’re going to have to save face. What would be hypocritical is if Allison is planning some kind of undeclared ARI takeover of Cato, with “respect” for Ayn Rand, or absence of “disrespect”, whatever that might mean, becoming criteria for associating with the Institute. Consider that Cato’s highest award is the Milton Friedman Prize, and Ayn Rand despised Milton Friedman. How’s that supposed to jibe?

I'm not a coward. Let me know if that sounds like you and I'll be sure to let you know how much of a bastard you are.

Tell you what tough guy, if you want to have a flame war, we’re going to have to have it on OL. Here’s a link to the thread.
http://www.objectivi...351#entry167029
I’ve had the experience here of some knucklehead throwing crap like this at me, and when I reply in kind, my post gets deleted. So come on over, hit me with your best shot, and we’ll have it out.

Edited by Ninth Doctor, 08 August 2012 - 08:10 PM.

"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo

#24
overt

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Tell you what tough guy, if you want to have a flame war, we’re going to have to have it on OL. Here’s a link to the thread.
http://www.objectivi...351#entry167029
I’ve had the experience here of some knucklehead throwing crap like this at me, and when I reply in kind, my post gets deleted. So come on over, hit me with your best shot, and we’ll have it out.



So you're saying you do those things I named, but you'll only tell me if you're certain you won't get banned from this forum?

If that's the case, you're a cowardly bastard. Otherwise, I don't see how we have a problem.

Either way, I don't think you should take this discussion in the direction you're taking it. "Tough guy"? "Knucklehead"? "We'll have it out"? What in the hell?.

#25
Jake

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Indeed. He was speaking at a public forum, so there's no reason he should only expect softballs.

So a rational person is supposed to be overly tender and kind and respond only to the obseqious nature of a hostile question? Peikoff didn't come to the forum to hear that guy talk, it was vice versa.

First of all I wrote that a couple months ago, and hadn't reviewed the tape in many years, so I was going from memory. Second, if that's not hitting the roof (I hate to get pedantic here, but you do realize it's a metaphor?) then I can hardly imagine what is.

Which is it? You're back-pedaling about your judgment or you're trying to justify it?

Sounds to me like a distinction without a difference.

Words have meaning; talk != debate.

Edited by Jake, 08 August 2012 - 08:40 PM.

Live for yourself. There's no one else more worth living for.
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more.
-Rush, Anthem


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