Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Farewell to Kings...

...or, "The ARI is dead...long live the ARI." (I would have said "the Pope," or "the Heir," but I didn't want people thinking that Peikoff actually died...) Remember the flap about Peikoff's letter to the board of ARI for the criticisms over The Logical Leap? I wrote, "If this is official Objectivism, then make mine anarchy."

Well, I must be an anarchist, then (though I prefer autarchist), because, apparently, this is official Objectivism...

I was being kind, compared to what Robert Tracinski has to say, which is that "The Objectivist Movement Commits Suicide." Read it for yourself (settle in and grab a Snickers, because you won't be going anywhere for a while)...

I'm not even going to quote from it; you really need to read it for yourself. I will, however, take this moment to explain this post's title, which comes from a Rush album. I haven't yet finished my "Rand-Rush Connection" series of posts dealing with Neil Peart's comments, printed in a 1997 article of Liberty magazine, about official Objectivism and "Randroids." In my planned posts, I am critical of Peart, though I hope I am being fair. But upon reading Tracinski's comments, I will say that, when it comes to the organized movement, Peart's comments have been vindicated:

In the late seventies I subscribed to the Objectivist Forum for awhile. And it could be such a beautiful thing, it could be like a breath of fresh air coming in the mailbox. But it became petty and divisive and also factionalized.... I tend to stay away from it [now]. It's in the nature of the individualist ethos that you don't want to be co-opted.

[Also], the ones most devoted to the cause are the ones with least of a life. A friend of mine who was involved in the Ayn Rand estate and the initial institutes and so on noticed that all of the coteries surrounding her didn't do anything.... The whole philosophy is about doing things ... with an eye towards excellence and beauty. And that was the one thing that was lacking in any of the coteries surrounding her. So that's another reason people stay away from [the official Objectivist movement], saying, "Well, I have a life and I'm living the philosophy -so why do I want to stop and talk about it with other people who aren't doing it?"

Why, quote from "A Farewell to Kings":

Cities full of hatred, fear and lies/
Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes/
Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise/
Beating down the multitude and/
Scoffing at the wise/

The hypocrites are slandering/
The sacred halls of Truth/
Ancient nobles showering/
Their bitterness on youth/
Can't we find the minds that made us strong?/
Can't we learn to feel what's right/
And what's wrong?/

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