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Diana Mertz Hsieh Meets The Wall of Hypocrisy

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#81 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:50 PM

Heh.

I just now skimmed over some of this Hsieh stuff.

It's going as I said it would.

Checking Premises is getting adhesions and as time goes on, as the trickle grows into a stream, Hsieh will discover what an apostated scapegoat feels like, whether she considers herself an apostate or not. They are apostating her and they will not stop until she is tarred and feathered.

(OK... that was a bit too much... but definitely excommunicated, defellowshiped, disconnected, shunned or whatever they call it... maybe depeikoffed... :smile: )

She is getting what she gave to Chris Sciabarra, among others (including the Brandens.) I hope she can take it like she dished it out. Because she's not going to have a choice about it coming.

But after the shock and pain wear off once this entire ordeal is over, I sincerely hope she reflects on her own actions. For as hostile and boneheaded as she has been over the years, I believe she can become an intellectual of some value if her critical thinking develops. I see the signs of that possibility, but I'm not going to call it definitely. She has a lot to account to herself (and to others) for.

I don't give any hope for people like Valliant. He sold his soul for the artificial certainty of indoctrinated blindness too long ago. Like the folks entangled in Scientology, I don't believe he has the capacity to even see raw evil practiced by his tribe if it were staring him in the face. Sanitizing history to deceive the public is just as evil as smearing, damn it! But he won't ever see it.

Apropos of Scientology, I've been studying that world for a while now. This Objectivist subculture crap is a piker party by comparison. But at least there are highly intelligent people studying these matters. And I have found several.

In fact, if anyone wants to understand the underbelly of the Objectivist movement, I believe the intellectually responsible (and easiest) way to look into it is to read Steve Hassan (especially his BITE model of mind control). There are several others, but he is top quality. That way an interested person can learn the principles--the real deal principles of how this stuff works--and sidestep all the yelling about Objectivist personalities.

Clarity about principles you never even knew existed is a wonderful thing when you get it handed to you on a silver platter. Especially when you get such clarity and start applying it to the subculture you live in.

Speaking of Hassan, I dare the fundies who are into this schism crap to read Combatting Cult Mind Control and Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves.

I just dare them.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Getting back to Hsieh, it looks like she blocked Valliant from posting on the thread Dennis provided. I'm giving a quote below, but the Valliant block is not the one I find interesting. This is far more illuminating. She is addressing Valliant in it.

For the Objectivist movement to run on your principles -- where people are grilled every time that some friend or acquaintance says something that others find objectionable, then denounced for refusing to answer -- would be the height of pathology. I oppose that on principle: it's sheer insanity, and I refuse to take part in it.

Now all Hsieh has to do is let that crack widen and look into the mirror through the fissure.

I feel for her if that ever happens and I hope she has good friends nearby.

Hmmmm...

I wonder why I bother to post about this woman and wish her well in my heart. She has always been gratuitously nasty to me--and quite vicious about people I love and respect. I'm not a sanction of the victim kind of person.

Maybe it's because her journey is such a good example of the things I have been thinking about and studying. And I think it's because I see her as a victim of forces (both internal and external) she can't and won't acknowledge right now. As I detect a sincere wish in her to be a good person, in a weird way (but a decidedly distant way), I'm rooting for her to achieve critical rational clarity.

Michael

Know thyself...


#82 George H. Smith

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

Diana Hsieh, in her lead post on Noodlefood, wrote:

I plan to continue to work to expand my knowledge, pursue my values, cultivate my skills, and act virtuously.


I've had good luck over the years with the first three goals, but acting virtuously has proven to be a real bitch. :lol:

Seriously, who except a Puritan or an Objectivist would pursue virtue as a goal?

Ghs

#83 Robert Campbell

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:18 PM

What N. Branden wrote in his "Benefits and Hazards" article indicates that Peikoff may indeed have voiced Rand's own opinion regarding this issue:


Xray,

Rand often made totalizing remarks about her views.

I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on this issue, if only because she occasionally acknowledged that Objectivism was unfinished and, on at least one occasion, that others might contribute to it in the future.

In any event, if Rand thought Objectivism was complete, she wouldn't have given Leonard Peikoff a license to revise it after her death.

Robert Campbell

#84 Robert Campbell

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:21 PM

whatever they call it... maybe depeikoffed... :smile:


Maybe she's been Peiked Off.

Robert Campbell

#85 Robert Campbell

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

More seriously, Diana Hsieh is now learning exactly what happens when you make alliances with people like Jim Valliant.

Robert Campbell

#86 Brant Gaede

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:39 PM

Went over there and read some of that stuff. Those people are all wrapped up in themselves and others. Reminds me of children fighting in a sandbox.

--Brant

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#87 Robert Campbell

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

Here's Jim Valliant in one sentence:

http://blog.dianahsi...mment-489390707

i am defending the man who taught us how to think.


If anyone in Rand-land exhibits less than total submission to Leonard Peikoff, count on Inspector Valliant to ferret it out.

Robert Campbell

#88 Brant Gaede

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:47 PM

Here's Jim Valliant in one sentence:

http://blog.dianahsi...mment-489390707

i am defending the man who taught us how to think.


If anyone in Rand-land exhibits less than total submission to Leonard Peikoff, count on Inspector Valliant to ferret it out.

Robert Campbell

Peikoff taught Valliant how to think? How about what to think?

--Brant
better than nothing?--no

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#89 Xray

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:13 AM

Xray,

Rand often made totalizing remarks about her views.

I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on this issue, if only because she occasionally acknowledged that Objectivism was unfinished and, on at least one occasion, that others might contribute to it in the future.

In any event, if Rand thought Objectivism was complete, she wouldn't have given Leonard Peikoff a license to revise it after her death.

Robert Campbell

Robert,

Does there exist evdidence of her explicitly giving Peikoff a license to revise Objectivism (or parts of it) after her death?
I always had the feeling that she choose Peikoff because she was sure that he would not attempt to revise it, that he would keep it 'pure, undiluted', so to speak.
As for possible additions, imo Rand thought that they had to be consistent with the premises of the Objectivist philosophy, i. e. what she had in mind was not a checking (and possible refutation) of the premises themselves.

#90 Xray

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:02 AM

Diana Hsieh, in her lead post on Noodlefood, wrote:


I plan to continue to work to expand my knowledge, pursue my values, cultivate my skills, and act virtuously.


I've had good luck over the years with the first three goals, but acting virtuously has proven to be a real bitch. :laugh:

Seriously, who except a Puritan or an Objectivist would pursue virtue as a goal?

Ghs

Good question. :D
Objectivist "virtues" are somewhat different from Christian ones though; just think of "pride" which is listed among the seven capital vices in Christian ethics, together with "wrath, greed, sloth, lust, envy, and gluttony". :smile:
http://en.wikipedia....ven_deadly_sins

#91 Robert Campbell

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:35 AM

Does there exist evidence of her explicitly giving Peikoff a license to revise Objectivism (or parts of it) after her death?

None that I know of.

But there is also no evidence that Rand proclaimed Peikoff her "intellectual heir."

I always had the feeling that she choose Peikoff because she was sure that he would not attempt to revise it, that he would keep it 'pure, undiluted', so to speak.


She may have been sure.

But subjective certainty is often erroneous.

For Peikovians, "My Thirty Years with Ayn Rand," "Fact and Value," and The Logical Leap are "part of Objectivism."

Robert Campbell

#92 Brant Gaede

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:47 AM


Does there exist evidence of her explicitly giving Peikoff a license to revise Objectivism (or parts of it) after her death?

None that I know of.

But there is also no evidence that Rand proclaimed Peikoff her "intellectual heir."

I always had the feeling that she choose Peikoff because she was sure that he would not attempt to revise it, that he would keep it 'pure, undiluted', so to speak.


She may have been sure.

But subjective certainty is often erroneous.

For Peikovians, "My Thirty Years with Ayn Rand," "Fact and Value," and The Logical Leap are "part of Objectivism."

Robert Campbell

She didn't choose Peikoff except in that he was the only one of any real substance left.

--Brant

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#93 Robert Campbell

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:46 AM

Here exactly is what Diana Hsieh should have thought about, back in 2003:

The Premise Checkers are not merely lauding Dr. Peikoff's achievements. They are not merely judging Dr. Peikoff to be a great person. That would not be controversial or problematic. Instead, they are claiming that anything less than "the profoundest respect" for Dr. Peikoff's whole person constitutes as an intolerable moral failing in an Objectivist. That's deeply wrong, even alarming.

Personally, I'm not interested in any such cult of personality -- and I don't wish to see the Objectivist movement transformed into that.


http://blog.dianahsi...d-cults-of.html

The Ayn Rand Institute is and has always been a house of worship.

Not just the worship of Ayn Rand's person, but also of Leonard Peikoff's.

Which is why Dr. Hsieh is being driven out of ARI, and will never find a way back in.

Robert Campbell

#94 Brant Gaede

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:21 PM

Here exactly is what Diana Hsieh should have thought about, back in 2003:

The Premise Checkers are not merely lauding Dr. Peikoff's achievements. They are not merely judging Dr. Peikoff to be a great person. That would not be controversial or problematic. Instead, they are claiming that anything less than "the profoundest respect" for Dr. Peikoff's whole person constitutes as an intolerable moral failing in an Objectivist. That's deeply wrong, even alarming.

Personally, I'm not interested in any such cult of personality -- and I don't wish to see the Objectivist movement transformed into that.


http://blog.dianahsi...d-cults-of.html

The Ayn Rand Institute is and has always been a house of worship.

Not just the worship of Ayn Rand's person, but also of Leonard Peikoff's.

Which is why Dr. Hsieh is being driven out of ARI, and will never find a way back in.

Robert Campbell

Maybe she came to realize, intuitively, that she had never made it in past the foyer anyway. When you consider her cheap conversion from Branden to Peikoff some years ago, the ARIans must have been suspicious. Benedict Arnold never got much respect from the Brits after he turned traitor to the American Revolution. It's not that they lack brains at ARI. Not bad enough for ARI and not good enough for herself. Now she's stuck in the middle and it isn't a good expression of individualism. I call this kind of stuff natural justice.

--Brant

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#95 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:56 PM

http://blog.dianahsi...d-cults-of.html


Cult of Personality, that’s great. Sounds like Khruschev criticizing Stalin, though in his case he waited for Uncle Joe to croak first.

There’s a positive comment from Justin Raimondo showing up, and it looks like the Justin Raimondo, the Rothbard protégé who wrote harshly about LP on the Mosque issue. Something about him being a pencil thin necked would be mass murderer, if I recall correctly. Let’s see if she deletes that one, I mean she’s supposed to be policing for people who say such things, even when the statements aren’t actually on her site, right?
Prandium gratis non est

#96 George H. Smith

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:22 PM


http://blog.dianahsi...d-cults-of.html


Cult of Personality, that’s great. Sounds like Khruschev criticizing Stalin, though in his case he waited for Uncle Joe to croak first.

There’s a positive comment from Justin Raimondo showing up, and it looks like the Justin Raimondo, the Rothbard protégé who wrote harshly about LP on the Mosque issue. Something about him being a pencil thin necked would be mass murderer, if I recall correctly. Let’s see if she deletes that one, I mean she’s supposed to be policing for people who say such things, even when the statements aren’t actually on her site, right?


According to Diana Hsieh, "If this cult of personality gains traction, the Objectivist movement will become insular, dogmatic, and repressive...."

Uh, maybe someone should inform Diana that that train left the station in 1968.

Ghs

Ghs

#97 Reidy

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:42 PM

More than a decade before that, to judge from reports of what went on in the inner circle in pre-Atlas Shrugged days.

#98 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:17 PM

There’s a positive comment from Justin Raimondo showing up, and it looks like the Justin Raimondo, the Rothbard protégé who wrote harshly about LP on the Mosque issue. Something about him being a pencil thin necked would be mass murderer, if I recall correctly. Let’s see if she deletes that one, I mean she’s supposed to be policing for people who say such things, even when the statements aren’t actually on her site, right?

I just checked it out again, mostly to see if there were new comments, and guess what? Oh yeah, Justin Raimondo's comment is gone! BTW it was just a generic "keep up the good work" comment, with something like "ignore the Premise Checkers" in there too. Did anyone else see it?
Prandium gratis non est

#99 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

The Ayn Rand Institute is and has always been a house of worship.

Not just the worship of Ayn Rand's person, but also of Leonard Peikoff's.

Which is why Dr. Hsieh is being driven out of ARI, and will never find a way back in.

Robert,

I want to add to this. I recently read an essay on Alinsky by David Horowitz, Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution, The Alinsky Model (my post is here).

He made a comment that rang (and still rings) throughout my subconscious. It was like blinders falling off. All I could think was, "But of course."

For Alinsky, politics is a zero sum exercise, because it is war. No matter what Alinsky radicals say publicly or how moderate they appear, they are at war. This provides them with a great tactical advantage since other actors in the political arena are not at war.

. . .

For tactical reasons radicals will make many compromises along the way; but their unfailing purpose - the vision that guides them - is to conduct a war against the system that in their view that makes social injustice possible.

When you are in a war - when you think of yourself as in a war - there is no middle ground. Radicals perceive opponents of their causes as enemies on a battlefield, and they set out to destroy them by demonizing and discrediting them.

Ayn Rand constantly said she was a radical for capitalism. She talked about being in a philosophical war against altruism. And on and on using war-like language and images. She made no bones about being radical.

But, adding to what Horowitz said about the radical left, the radical mindset in general is war, not persuasion. And this is ironic for a philosophy devoted to reason, but there it is. You convert, not share ideas. You defeat an argument, not arrive at a point where further understanding is needed. You can grow, but by assimilating the party line ideas and building on that, not by branching off into uncharted territories and returning and saying "Hey, look what I found!" You conquer, not explore.

I agree that worship, as in your comment, is one of the elements within a fundy mindset (similar to the leftie radical's imagined communal heaven on earth), but I don't see intolerance of Peikoff criticism by an Objectivist fundy as cult of personality. I see it more in lines of insubordination against the top General.

It doesn't matter if he is right or wrong. You are not supposed to do anything that could reflect negatively on him in public. You are supposed to follow orders--overtly (like the Checking Premises people) or be deception (like Valliant tries to do). You are not supposed to do anything that would lead a fellow soldier to question his General.

Otherwise, how can the war be won?

I think this war mentality is a critical part of the fundy mindset. It feels right to me because I use to think like that.

I believe many of the fundies laugh off the "worship" criticism because it is not the whole story, and that makes it just enough wrong to be able to dismiss it altogether in their minds. They are engaged in an all-or-nothing mission (meaning military mission, not the life purpose kind) to save the world and convert it to Objectivism. That is in addition to praying at an alter (which they do in their own manner).

Hsieh is a good soldier, but she betrayed her General. I have called what is coming to her an excommunication or shunning and so forth, but now I see it more like a court martial.

Shall we sing?

Onward Christian Ayn Rand's soldiers,
marching as to-oo war...

Michael

Know thyself...


#100 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

I always had the feeling that she choose Peikoff because she was sure that he would not attempt to revise it, that he would keep it 'pure, undiluted', so to speak


As Brant noted (#92), Peikoff was "was the only one of any real substance left."

I think it was a case of "the cheese stands alone."

Up until he split with her, Allan Blumenthal, who Rand knew had some disagreements with her, was co-heir.

My belief is that the history of "the Objectivist movement" after Rand's death would have been quite different if Allan hadn't broken with Rand.

Ellen




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