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Libertarianism vs Objectivism

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Dániel Boros
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I can decode "the malevolent sprits at CP" to the authors of the Checking Premises website, but "half the realm of justice" and "a confession of infinite degrees" are completely opaque idioms to me and are not even grammatical. What does this mean?

Sorry, that's what I get for typing on a short lunch. I’m glad you said something so I could clarify it.

I was referring to how some Objectivists use the value of Justice specifically for negative evaluations while ignoring the responsibility also using it for positive judgment. People like to condemn others versus speak of the virtues of someone. As for specifics, I’m disgusted by Checking Premises which used all their time and energy to only condemn people. That speaks volumes from a psychological perspective. I’d take my advice and offer a positive appraisal too but the point is they provided none by design.

A healthy project would be a site dedicate to accumulating real positive information, in addition to criticisms, from all people associated with Objectivism past and present so those who are new to Rand’s work could educate themselves on where to go to find value. That certainly sounds more interesting and would be more aligned with the concept of Justice.

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Jon- I really don't think it's necessary to copy and paste every remark about DH to prove the point. A forum consists of writings from all it's members. If I can do a quick search on an Objectivist forum and find multiple derogatory comments about DH...

One can do a quick search here at OO and find criticisms of Hsieh's ideas (including criticisms from me). Does that make OO "anti-Hsieh"?

...what do you think my impression is going to be? It really shouldn't be that suprising.

Your impression should be that those individual who have made derogatory comments about Hsieh have made derogatory comments about Hsieh, that those individuals who have been critical of her ideas and behavior are critical of her ideas and behavior, and that those individuals who wish her well and hope that she learns from her errors and puts her talents to more productive uses wish her well and hope that she learns from her errors and puts her talents to more productive uses. In other words, I'd expect you to think more clearly than you are, and to judge individuals as individuals.

I think that calling OL "anti-Hsieh" is not just an example of a collectivistic judgment, but of not dealing with essentials. The term "anti-Hsieh" implies an inappropriate judgment of a person, and doesn't address the essentials of what is actually being opposed. If you or I or anyone else behaved in the way that Hsieh has, people at OL would be just as critical of us as they are of Hsieh. So therefore Hsieh's "Hsiehness" is not the characteristic that is being opposed, and to label a group of people's attitude as "anti-Hsieh" is to misidentify the essential characteristic of the issue.

If I say that the blue sky is yellow, and people at OL disagree (and even mock me for my contradictory statement), would you categorize me as being a poor victim of "anti-Jonathan" meanies who are prejudicially "anti-Jonathan" for no rational reason, or would you practice the Objectivist art of thinking in essentials and recognize that they are actually "anti-contradiction"?

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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One can do a quick search here at OO and find criticisms of Hsieh's ideas (including criticisms from me). Does that make OO "anti-Hsieh"?

No, in fact that's exactly the kind of criticisms I'd expect to find on an Objectivist forum (criticisms of ideas).

If I say that the blue sky is yellow, and people at OL disagree (and even mock me for my contradictory statement), would you categorize me as being a poor victim of "anti-Jonathan" meanies who are prejudicially "anti-Jonathan" for no rational reason

I didn't refer to the site as 'anti-hsieh' because members on OL disagreed with her statements, or pointed out her errors in thought. I think I made that pretty clear. I refered to it as 'anti-hsieh' because members have insulted and degraded her. I don't see any rational reason for that, and it is certainly not a result of the 'Objectivist art of thinking.'

Edited by mdegges
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"and that those individuals who wish her well and hope that she learns from her errors and puts her talents to more productive uses"

But that is just "more in sorrow than in anger" condescension, just as ad hominem as "Comrade Sonya".

OL permits ad hominems and it wallows in ad hominems when the jokes are good. I like it better here, even that means having to do without the participation of some of the bittervets at OL.

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I refered to it as 'anti-hsieh' because members have insulted and degraded her. I don't see any rational reason for that, and it is certainly not a result of the 'Objectivist art of thinking.'

The OL thread that keeps getting referenced started as a discussion of a policy statement from one of her sites, but there wasn’t much to discuss so it quickly became a comedy thread. There aren’t uptight moderators patrolling the threads there, so this happens pretty often. Even serious threads have a way of devolving into comedy once they’ve run their course. Start talking about genocide and you’re liable to get moderated, try calling the Brandens derogatory names and you’ll get booted, and if you get too nasty with the owner all bets are off. Otherwise, it’s basically fair game, you can call me an SOB all you want over there, and you won’t be the first. Oh, but don’t call another poster a c*nt, that one’s off limits…long story. If you like OO better, here you are. There’s something to be said for both. FWIW I've had more "insulting and degrading" material directed at me here than there.

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I didn't refer to the site as 'anti-hsieh' because members on OL disagreed with her statements, or pointed out her errors in thought. I think I made that pretty clear. I refered to it as 'anti-hsieh' because members have insulted and degraded her.

You don't seem to want to accept the idea that people "insult and degrade" Hsieh for reasons, even though they may not list those reasons in every post they write. Participation at OL is often conversational, and people know each other, and therefore they don't feel the need to reiterate in every post the reasons that they are critical of someone's ideas and behavior.

I don't see any rational reason for that, and it is certainly not a result of the 'Objectivist art of thinking.'

Does the fact that you can't see a rational reason at a quick glance mean that there cannot possibly be a rational reason? How hard have you looked for a rational reason? Have you bothered to asked anyone why they have "insulted and degraded" Hsieh? Do you have any curiosity about it at all? Or have you made up your mind prior to investigating the issue?

J

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"and that those individuals who wish her well and hope that she learns from her errors and puts her talents to more productive uses"

But that is just "more in sorrow than in anger" condescension, just as ad hominem as "Comrade Sonya".

The term "Comrade Sonia" is not an ad hominem. It is a method of humorously identifying that a person is behaving in the same manner as a type of fictional character. It's like Rand calling someone a "Babbitt." It is done for a reason, and the reason is that the real person shares characteristics with the fictional character.

OL permits ad hominems and it wallows in ad hominems when the jokes are good.

I think it's a virtue that OL permits people to freely express themselves.

I like it better here, even that means having to do without the participation of some of the bittervets at OL.

And how is calling people "bittervets" not an ad hominem by your standards? Why is that being allowed here? Why are you wallowing in insults and degradation, especially right after saying that you appreciate their not being permitted here?

J

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FWIW I've had more "insulting and degrading" material directed at me here than there.

Ditto. And not only that, but, in my experience, the insults and degradation here at OO have come primarily from moderators acting in their positions as moderators (which isn't to say that all moderators here are abusive, or that those who have been abusive haven't grown up or changed for the good in any way). In comparison, I've never experienced anything but good will from MSK at OL, even when he has been in disagreement with me.

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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Libertarians represent such a wide spectrum of beliefs that I have no problem with Objectivists separating themselves from the Libertarian movement. Apart from emphasizing the word "liberty", the Libertarian movement has done little to define liberty, and never really found any cohesion. There are Libertarians who are anarchists and there are Libertarians who are hardcore christians. As an Objectivist I have no desire to be categorized with those people, not even in the political realm.

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And how is calling people "bittervets" not an ad hominem by your standards? Why is that being allowed here? Why are you wallowing in insults and degradation, especially right after saying that you appreciate their not being permitted here?

Because truth is an absolute defense against charges of defamation. The bitterness is self evident in the some of the posts, and many of the participants are veterans of the last century's "wars" over the future of Objectivism as a movement. Besides, ad hominem is a rhetorical manuever to avoid refuting an actual argument but this term 'bittervets' is not offered is response to an argument. It is simply descriptive.

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There’s something to be said for both.

Yeah, agreed.

Jon- I'm just explaining why I refered to OL as anti-hsieh. I haven't said there is no good content there, or that it has nothing positive to offer. Actually, I said earlier that I've found useful information on all these sites.

To answer your question, no, I didn't ask the poster why he called DH a dirty monkey, or said to another guy, 'you might be able to nail her.' I also didn't question another poster about his comment, 'I treat ... like her with a treacle-y critical tongue, which tips off the limited abilities of an excited, older guy.' Ok, maybe that last one is kinda funny, but I think we can all agree that it's quite unnecessary and insulting to DH.

If you think about it for a couple of minutes, the purpose of Objectivist forums is to share and critique ideas, ie: to learn new things. The comments I listed above are not intellectually stimulating, nor are they constructive criticisms: they merely reflect dirty old men being dirty old men. If you disagree with what I've said, that's your prerogative. I just usually expect more from adults. For instance, we're having a disagreement right now, but you don't see me insulting the capabilities of your...

Oh shoot, I don't think that's allowed here. Maybe this thread should be moved to OL. :stuart:

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Ok, maybe that last one is kinda funny, but I think we can all agree that it's quite unnecessary and insulting to DH.

In case you think there are no limits, a few years ago there was an active OL member named Victor Pross, who was eventually banned, he's long gone now. He is a caricaturist, he's published at least one book and I gather this is how he makes his living. He did a caricature of Ms. Hsieh, naked. You can still find the thread, but you won't see the picture. Barbara Branden, who had already been called pretty much every name in the book by Ms. Hsieh, was among the people saying it was inappropriate, out of bounds, and so on.

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Jon- I really don't think it's necessary to copy and paste every remark about DH to prove the point. A forum consists of writings from all it's members. If I can do a quick search on an Objectivist forum and find multiple derogatory comments about DH, what do you think my impression is going to be? It really shouldn't be that suprising.

Nicky- I think you're perhaps reacting too emotionally. Perhaps you're biased in favor of Hsieh because you really like her for some reason.

Not really. I don't know much about her, but as far as the people who's articles pop up on this site, she's one of my least favorites. I don't dislike her, I just don't think she's that great.

Doesn't mean I can't recognize bullshit when I see it. And that's what Jonathan is peddling. That site is not used for constructive criticism, it's a place for everyone who got thrown out of everywhere else to spew their bile pretty much unchecked. I see no reason to be diplomatic about that (except maybe our beloved mods, but I figure they'll overlook this because it's a direct answer to your question).

That also doesn't mean I approve of this site's moderating/banning practices (or those of other Objectivist forums). They all suck. But they're still better than "an open forum" where stuff like I just listed is allowed. That is not a place where anyone should expect to engage in intellectual debate. "Open forums" are where the lowest common denominator thrives. They're the ones who tend to like them, too. I would also be curious if the mods on this "open forum" also tolerate it if someone calls them or their friends waterheads and sluts. I somehow doubt it.

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FWIW I've had more "insulting and degrading" material directed at me here than there.

My birthday's coming up. Care to post some "evidence", as an early present?

You sound quite collectivistic in your desire to label a group of people based on the actions of a few among them.

I'z judge me some folk by the company they keep, I'll admit it.

cowboy.gif

Now it's your turn to confess: You don't really quite get the hang of this individualism vs. collectivism business, do you? What's collectivistic about that?

Edited by Nicky
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Because truth is an absolute defense against charges of defamation. The bitterness is self evident in the some of the posts, and many of the participants are veterans of the last century's "wars" over the future of Objectivism as a movement. Besides, ad hominem is a rhetorical manuever to avoid refuting an actual argument but this term 'bittervets' is not offered is response to an argument. It is simply descriptive.

Then term "Comrade Sonia" is also simply a descriptive term. It's never been used as a "maneuver to avoid refuting an actual argument," yet you falsely called it an ad hominem. So it appears that when others use such descriptive terms, you label it an act of "wallowing" in ad hominems, but when you use such terms, you think it's perfectly acceptable. Sounds like a self-serving double standard to me. And that's why I prefer freedom of expression in discussion forums: People, including moderators, tend to exempt themselves from the rules that they demand that others follow.

J

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Yeah, agreed.

Jon- I'm just explaining why I refered to OL as anti-hsieh. I haven't said there is no good content there, or that it has nothing positive to offer. Actually, I said earlier that I've found useful information on all these sites.

To answer your question, no, I didn't ask the poster why he called DH a dirty monkey, or said to another guy, 'you might be able to nail her.' I also didn't question another poster about his comment, 'I treat ... like her with a treacle-y critical tongue, which tips off the limited abilities of an excited, older guy.' Ok, maybe that last one is kinda funny, but I think we can all agree that it's quite unnecessary and insulting to DH.

If you think about it for a couple of minutes, the purpose of Objectivist forums is to share and critique ideas, ie: to learn new things. The comments I listed above are not intellectually stimulating, nor are they constructive criticisms: they merely reflect dirty old men being dirty old men. If you disagree with what I've said, that's your prerogative. I just usually expect more from adults.

I think that most people would expect more from adults than some of the behavior that they've seen Hsieh exhibit over the years, which is why people are critical of her behavior. I think they see her behavior as being much worse than any names they've called her.

Their comments on being physically attracted to her may be tasteless, but they're not insults or attacks on her -- they're not "anti-Hsieh."

For instance, we're having a disagreement right now, but you don't see me insulting the capabilities of your...

Oh shoot, I don't think that's allowed here. Maybe this thread should be moved to OL. :stuart:

Feel free to post on OL and say whatever you want about me. I'm an adult, and I can take it.

J

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Not really. I don't know much about her, but as far as the people who's articles pop up on this site, she's one of my least favorites. I don't dislike her, I just don't think she's that great.

That's pretty much my view of Hsieh. Plus I recognize her history of personally vindictive zealotry for what it is.

Doesn't mean I can't recognize bullshit when I see it. And that's what Jonathan is peddling. That site is not used for constructive criticism, it's a place for everyone who got thrown out of everywhere else to spew their bile pretty much unchecked. I see no reason to be diplomatic about that (except maybe our beloved mods, but I figure they'll overlook this because it's a direct answer to your question).

I'm getting the impression that you really haven't read much over at OL. The site can be very substantive, and on a level that most members here are incapable of matching. Which isn't to say that anyone here is stupid or anything, but that OL has a larger population of experienced thinkers who have actual professional-level expertise in their areas of interest.

That also doesn't mean I approve of this site's moderating/banning practices (or those of other Objectivist forums). They all suck. But they're still better than "an open forum" where stuff like I just listed is allowed. That is not a place where anyone should expect to engage in intellectual debate. "Open forums" are where the lowest common denominator thrives. They're the ones who tend to like them, too. I would also be curious if the mods on this "open forum" also tolerate it if someone calls them or their friends waterheads and sluts. I somehow doubt it.

That's false. The "lowest common denominator" is not the type to be drawn to a forum like OL. Brilliant people don't like to be moderated by kids who know much less than they do, so they tend to post on forums where there's no interference by less-informed zealots.

In my experience, people who are less bright like to be protected from potent dissenting opinions. They like the idea of stifling arguments which they can't refute, so they tend to post at sites where they think the moderators will have their backs. So, contrary to what you say, the "lowest common denominator" thrives in forums where the scales are artificially weighted in their favor.

J

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Then term "Comrade Sonia" is also simply a descriptive term. It's never been used as a "maneuver to avoid refuting an actual argument,"

It is used to avoid refuting the reasons Diana Hsieh gives to count certain people as false friends of Objectivism. As a response it goes something like this: "She is reading people out of the movement just like Comrade Sonia would maneuver people out of the communist party, therefore shut up." Furthermore it is not even a descriptive term, it is analogy.

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Not really. I don't know much about her, but as far as the people who's articles pop up on this site, she's one of my least favorites. I don't dislike her, I just don't think she's that great.

Doesn't mean I can't recognize bullshit when I see it. And that's what Jonathan is peddling. That site is not used for constructive criticism, it's a place for everyone who got thrown out of everywhere else to spew their bile pretty much unchecked. I see no reason to be diplomatic about that (except maybe our beloved mods, but I figure they'll overlook this because it's a direct answer to your question).

That also doesn't mean I approve of this site's moderating/banning practices (or those of other Objectivist forums). They all suck. But they're still better than "an open forum" where stuff like I just listed is allowed. That is not a place where anyone should expect to engage in intellectual debate. "Open forums" are where the lowest common denominator thrives. They're the ones who tend to like them, too. I would also be curious if the mods on this "open forum" also tolerate it if someone calls them or their friends waterheads and sluts. I somehow doubt it.

OK, now this is just silly.

The personal sections from such people as George H. Smith, Robert Campbell, or Stephen Boydstun are some of the most in depth sections of articles I’ve seen on the web. I’m looking forward to delving into other sections of the Corner of Insight as I tackle those. You can feel free to give arm chair judgment on a few posters but you cannot smear a website as catering to the lowest common denominator when it contains the most intellectual collection of articles, and in some cases doctorate level looks at the finer workings of Objectivism or classical theory, than any other Objectivist website.

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It is used to avoid refuting the reasons Diana Hsieh gives to count certain people as false friends of Objectivism.

Nope. Aren’t you familiar with how she came to be called Comrade Sonia? It’s been quite a few years now, so it probably bears reviewing. I have a feeling that if I explain it here my post will be deleted, but you won’t post on OL, right? Maybe I’ll get up the yen to do it soon and then link it.

You can feel free to give arm chair judgment on a few posters but you cannot smear a website as catering to the lowest common denominator when it contains the most intellectual collection of articles, and in some cases doctorate level looks at the finer workings of Objectivism or classical theory, than any other Objectivist website.

I think a borrowing from advertising lingo for Hi-Fi audio equipment is in order: on OL you get higher highs and lower lows. A more realistic, life-like experience.

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It is used to avoid refuting the reasons Diana Hsieh gives to count certain people as false friends of Objectivism.

No one has avoided refuting Hsieh's excuses for her behavior. And generally the people at OL aren't the ones doing the avoiding. They're not the one's using their positions as moderators to delete others' arguments, or their ownership of a site to ban people for having offered effective dissenting opinions, or for challenging blatant falsehoods. At Hsieh's Noodlefood blog, people don't "avoid" refuting her arguments, but are prevented from doing so. And that has also happened here at OO in the past. The truth, no matter how politely it is presented, is sometimes considered a tresspasser on certain people's property.

As a response it goes something like this...

It's not a "response" to an argument, if that's how you're trying to characterize it. It's merely an observation of similar behavior between a real and a fictional person.

"She is reading people out of the movement just like Comrade Sonia would maneuver people out of the communist party, therefore shut up."

There's never been any "therefore shut up" involved. There have been, however, quite a lot of successful predictions of what she would do next if her goals were Comrade Sonia-like.

J

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You sound quite collectivistic in your desire to label a group of people based on the actions of a few among them. Why are you so attracted to judging others collectively? Why do you bring your collectivist methods here to an Objectivist site? Why not go hang out with your fellow collectivists instead?

Calling the site "anti-Hsieh" implies a bias against the person, regardless of whether her ideas and behaviors are good or bad. And that is simply not true. The members of OL are not "anti-Hsieh" but anti bad ideas and bad behavior.

...

Many posters who are critical of Hsieh's bad ideas and behavior often state that they still have hope for her and they'd like to see her learn from her errors and make use of her obvious talents. The owners and members of OL are not "anti-Hsieh" but anti bad ideas and behavior.

You seem to have no issues with generalizing a positive character trait (being anti bad ideas and behavior) from individual members to the general forum. If we're going to judge individual posters as individuals, then let's do that.

Why, because you say so? One of the owners, MSK, contributes very heavily to the content of the site. As I write this, he has 16,625 posts to my 2052, and I'm not considered an insigificant contributor of content. Sorry, Nicky, but your assertion about where content comes from just doesn't reflect reality.

Also, this is an implicit concession that the content of a forum comes from its posters, not its owners. Your argument to the contrary cites the amount of material that MSK qua poster has contributed, not in his role as an owner, which undermines your own point.

Edited by Dante
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You seem to have no issues with generalizing a positive character trait (being anti bad ideas and behavior) from individual members to the general forum. If we're going to judge individual posters as individuals, then let's do that.

I'm not generalizing. I've been a member of OL since its inception, and my views of its members are based on knowing them and there opinions and judgements, and not on projecting a majority view onto a minority. I'd even known many of the members for several years prior to the existence of OL, so your assumption that I'm generalizing is baseless.

Also, this is an implicit concession that the content of a forum comes from its posters, not its owners. Your argument to the contrary cites the amount of material that MSK qua poster has contributed, not in his role as an owner, which undermines your own point.

So, you seem to be saying that if you use the word "qua," suddenly MSK is only a poster when he posts, and he is somehow magically not the site's owner any more. Is that you're position? Do you believe that posting and owning are somehow two mutually exclusive conditions or states of being?

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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So, you seem to be saying that if you use the word "qua," suddenly MSK is only a poster when he posts, and he is somehow magically not the site's owner any more. Is that you're position? Do you believe that posting and owning are somehow two mutually exclusive conditions or states of being?

Only took one reply for the straw men to appear.

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